The Blantyre Senior resident magistrate Viva Nyimba has refused bail to a third suspect, Paul Mang’ani, in the Blantyre Water Board (BWB) fraud case.
Mang’ani , a third accused said to have been on the run since November last year, appeared in court for the first time on Monday following his arrest last Saturday.
“The suspect never surrendered himself to police though he knew he was wanted by the police, The court needs to ensure the case doesn’t delay and that trial is done without him running away. It is, therefore , in the interest of justice to deny him bail,” said Nyimba in his determination on Wednesday.
Mang’ani is suspected to have defrauded the parastatal about K150 million with other two BWB employees .
The others are the board’s former debt collector Brian Makoteand his accomplices Oscar Kapito.
They are facing charges of conspiracy, theft by public servant, forgery, producing false documents and money laundering jointly with.
Nyimba denied him bail twice on the premise that he was a flight risk and that the country has porous borders that would easily permit him to flee again, having done so before.
The Magistrate said the court is “already understaffed” and asked both parties to ensure the case does not delay as they have so many cases to attend to.
He then adjourned the case February 23 in the morning to give its determination on whether the three have a cse to answer.
They are suspected to have opened a parallel welfare fund account at Nedbank where four cheques from the Malawi Police Service (MPS) and State Residences amounting to K150 million were deposited into the account between May and August 2017.
Encashment and funds transfer to Multi Electricals bank account held at FDH Bank worth K25 million were some of the transactions made from the account.
Multi Electrical bank account is linked to Obina Liwonde, an employee of BWB working as a construction clerk.
However, the fraud was exposed in August this year after Makote allegedly went to withdraw K20 million from the account.
He then sneaked out to Botswana using the Mwanza border post where he was later arrested by International Police (Interpol).
Kapito, suspected to have been a signatory for the parallel account was the first to be arrested in September last year while Makote, first appeared before the same court after he was extradited to the country end September.
Since the beginning of trial in November last year, the court has paraded nine witnesses with the last one testifying on Wednesday, detective Joseph Nkuna.
Nkuna narrated how Mang’ani took part un stealing the money by, among other things, keeping some of the money in his accounts while his son-in-law fled the country.
All the accused pleaded not guilty to the charges.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :