The Lilongwe Magistrate Court has convicted and sentenced to four years imprisonment with hard labour (IHL) a principal government accountant, Howard Njewa, for engaging in corrupt practices.
The court has also sentenced Njewa’s accomplice, Brian Bandawe, also to four years IHL for persuading a public officer to abuse his office at the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development.
According to the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), Njewa was accused of profiting from a contract which he assisted Bandawe to win at the ministry where he was the project accountant.
Bandawe was helped by Njewa to be awarded a contract to supply and clean carpets and also supply and fit vertical blinds at the ministry in 2011, according to ACB.
“The Anti-Corruption Bureau instituted an investigation where it established that Njewa assisted his friend to secure a contract at the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development where he was the project accountant with intent to profit from the contract,” said Egrita Ndala in a statement made available to Nyasa Times.
When ACB took the accused to the court, it charged Njewa with one count of having advantage for giving assistance in regard to contracts and one count of abuse of public office contrary to Sections 29 (1) and 25B (1) of the Corrupt Practices Act.
His partner, Bandawe, was charged with inducing a public officer to give him an advantage in regard to a contract and inducing a public officer to abuse a public office contrary to Sections 29 (2) and 25 B (2) of the Corrupt Practices Act.
The Lilongwe Chief Resident Magistrate found Njewa and Bandawe guilty of all counts and were both convicted this week to four years imprisonment with hard labour effective the day of their conviction, according to Ndala.
At present, Malawians are curiously awaiting the outcome of the myriad cases where scores of government employees and business persons with close links to the ruling party and its President Joyce Banda are accused of stealing billions of kwachas from government coffers.