Manondo implicates JB in Malawi cashgate

Pika Manondo, one of the suspects in the shooting of Treasury budget director Paul Mphwiyo, has implicated President Joyce Banda in the cashgate scandal that has seen billions of kwacha looted at Capital Hill at the expense of the general populace.

Manondo, wanted by International Police (Interpol)  for attempted murder of Mphwiyo, told Nyasa Times in a telephone interview from an undisclosed location that he will return to Malawi to face the law.

He challenged that he will tell investigators more about the cashgate scandal and what led to Mphwiyo’s shooting.

“I am coming back home nd will fully cooperate with the cashgate investigators and disclose who the main beneficiary of the cashgate is, how the looting took place and how the money was channelled back to the President [ Joyce Banda].

“Some of the things I will tell the investigators is they need to focus on the real people behind the civil servants currently being arrested. I will tell them that 50% of the cashgate loot went to the President while 10 – 20% was paid as commissions to the owners of the companies used in making the payments.

Manondo: Wanted for attempted murder in Malawi implicates President on Capital Hill looting

“I will tell the investigators that Mphwiyo was converting the 50% that belonged to the President into United States dollars before passing it on. The news we got was that the President only wanted the dollars not kwacha for ease of keeping.”

Manondo claimed that there is no way that civil servants can easily steal money in the current IFMIS as it has very good internal controls and any looting can only happen with the approval of the top ranks.

“I challenge you there is no way civil servants would be looting over K20 billion. A couple of millions, okay, yes but not billions as the case now. One has to wonder where were the banks, the Financial Intelligence Unit, Reserve Bank of Malawi. The top hierarchies of these organisation working on money approvals, were being paid commissions on the looting transactions,” he said.

A number of prominent  Asians owned money exchange bureaus and prominent  businessmen were used in the conversion, Manondo claimed.

Police are holding Pika’s car suspected to have been used by assailants who attacked Mphwiyo with a gun.

Manondo wondered why after 30 days Police could go and search for the car at his close ally former Minister of Justice Ralph Kasambara’s house.

Meanwhile, armed  Malawi Police in the capital, Lilongwe on Tuesday broke into a safe deposit box  with First Merchant Bank (FMB) Lilongwe Branch belonging to  Manondo  and they found $184 000 (about K75 million) in cash.

“We broke it and found over $184 000 in the box. The money is being kept by police as evidence,” said national Police deputy spokesperson Kelvin Maigwa.

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