Lilongwe Magistrate’s Court has sentenced two police officers and a businessman on charges related K45 million in public funds embezzled in 2010 in the Malawi Police Service (MPS) and the corruption case was widely described as the genesis of Cashgate which was exposed in 2013.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Elija Kachikuwo and his colleagues Francis Mkwamba and Vincent Nyondo were convicted last year. However, the court acquitted the fourth accused person in the case, Wilson Chandema.
The four worked in the MPS finance department and allegedly prepared a K45 million payment to Classic Motors for goods and services which were not delivered.
Chandema was a co-signatory of the MPS bank accounts and whose role the courts deemed too weak for conviction.
Principal Resident Magistrate Patrick Chirwa delivered the sentence on Friday.
In his sentence, Kachikuwo who was being accused of negligence, which led to loss of K45 million of public money in 2011 was given non custodial sentence but a K2 million fine which he has since paid.
Kachikuwo, who, at the time the offence, was at the National Police Headquarters Treasury Office, and his negligence is said to have led to the loss of the money. The court, however, acquitted Kachikuwo on the count of abuse of office.
Nyondo, a police officer, is said to have failed to give a satisfactory account of the K45 million, which was given to a businessman Francis Mkwamba, through transactions whose services were never delivered.
He was convicted on the counts of theft by public servant, money laundering and abuse of office. He was handed custodial sentences of 20 years . The court sentenced him to ten, five and five years’ imprisonment on each of the three counts respectively.
Nyondo was an Inspector of Police at the accounts department while Mkwamba is a businessperson.
Mkwamba who was charged with one count of money laundering has been jailed for five years.
Presiding principal resident magistrate Patrick Chirwa told the court that considering the seriousness of the offences for Nyondo and Mkwamba; namely theft by public servant, money laundering and abuse of public office, the court was compelled to give them lengthy jail terms of 10 years and five years for each charge, respectively. The sentences will run, concurrently.
However, the magistrate brushed aside mitigation factors of poor health for both convicts arguing that there is no order barring the court from sentencing someone on medical grounds
Meanwhile, Nyondo and. Mkwamba are serving their sentences at Maula Prison which run from the date of conviction.
Kachikuwo was arrested in 2012 for another related case involving K400 million which is still in the courts and it also involves some of the convicts.
The former Blue Eagles FC chairman was suspended but his suspension was lifted later and transferred to Mangochi Police Station.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :