Cashgate convict OswardLutepo is still incarcerated and still serving time at Chichiri Prison in Blantyre, the Malawi Prison Service has said, putting to ice rumours making rounds that the main felon in the Cashgate saga has been pardoned by President Peter Mutharika.
Last week, Mutharika pardoned 143 prisoners as part of Malawi’s 54th Independence celebrations.
High Court Judge Redson Kapindu is September 2015 sentenced the businessman to 11 years Imprisonment with Hard Labour (IHL), after being convicted on two counts of money laundering and conspiracy to defraud K4.2 billion from government coffers.
He also sentenced him to three years imprisonment on the charge of conspiracy to defraud government contrary to Section 323 of the Penal Code.
Reports were rife on online and social media that Lutepo was one of the prisoners that had been pardoned.
But the Malawi Prison Service has called the reports unfounded, stating that Lutepo is still serving time at Chichiri Prison.
“I would like to categorically refute this rumour as unfounded and untrue. The truth of the matter is that MrLutepo is still behind bars at Chichiri Prison. If you could read the article between the lines, it is not saying that he is released but rather begged to be pardoned, a thing which did not happen,” MPS spokesperson Julius Magombo told Nyasa Times.
Last week, Lutepo was quoted in the media asking Malawi Prison Service (MPS) officials to include him on the list of prisoners who Mutharikawould pardoning as part of this year’s Independence Celebrations.
The convict, who was a high-ranking official of the then governing People’s Party (PP) and donated vehicles to the party, told Malawi Institute of Journalism (MIJ) FM’s TidakalipoProgramme—a weekly prison magazine series—that he has demonstrated good conduct while serving his sentence. He also said his health condition qualifies him for pardon.
Said Lutepo: “I am pleading with President Peter Mutharika to pardon me because he is the only person who has the authority [to do so] so that I can receive the full medical attention [I deserve]. My health is not well and my conduct has proved to be good.”
In the programme, he said the President should not restrict pardon to prisoners convicted for minor offences.
Said Lutepo: “God forgives without looking at who did what. So, forgiveness should not be conditional.”
HiweverMagombo said the reformatory institution has set procedures when shortlisting inmates to be pardoned.
He said Lutepo, like any prisoner, cannot apply to be pardoned.
Said Magombo: “It [the request] was like he was just chatting with journalists and he hasn’t declared to prison that he wants to be pardoned.
“However, we have powers to recommend prisoners for the pardon following our guidelines in our special committee. For instance, we look at the offences one committed, health condition at the discretion of the committee…”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :