Malawi Police accept ‘shortcoming’ in cashgate investigations

Malawi police have confessed that investigations regarding the looting of public coffers, cash-gate, at Capitol Hill have been hard for them, saying the process will need even a lot more time to be finalised.

Nelson Bophani, Malawi police deputy chief, said they are still gathering information on the matter.

“Cash-gate is a new thing and it has been difficult for us to investigate. It will take us long,” said Bophani.

He could not say when the investigations will come to an end.

Bophani:  It's difficult
Bophani: It’s difficult

“I’ll be lying to the Malawi nation if I say we’ll be done [with the investigations] on a particular date,” he confessed.

He added that they will also use a lot of findings from the forensic department currently underway.

“Forensic auditors will help a lot as far as this issue is concerned,” Bophani added.

Suspected of looting more than $100 million from government coffers since 2006, defendants entered pleas ahead of trials slated to get underway January 29.

Dubbed ‘cashgate,’ the scandal cuts deeply both economically and politically, causing many foreign donors to halt aid.

In a country where 40 percent of the budget comes from abroad, politicians and economists are still struggling to gauge the fallout.

“I suppose in the history of the Malawi justice system, we have never seen anything like it,” said Bruno Kalemba, Director of Public Prosecutions. “As one who is involved in these cases — ourselves, the investigators, the courts — it’s unprecedented.”

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