Supreme Court of Malawi acquits Cashgate convict Maxwell Namata

The Supreme Court of Appeal has acquitted Maxweel Namata who was convicted on money laundering related to Cashgate scandal, sustaining he appeal bid  agains  the High Court in Lilongwe that it was based on unfounded evidence.

Namata with his hands on his face is free, conviction quashed, sentence handed wrong on principe has been set aside

Namata and his accomplice Luke Kasamba were handed eight and five years custodial sentences respectively on February 16, 2015 on two counts of theft and money laundering contrary to Section 35(1)(c) of Money Laundering and Terrorist Finance Act for the amount of K24,179,120.70 ($42 419.51).

A panel of three judges;  Anthony Kamanga, Lovemore Chikopa and Reizene Mzikamanda on Friday overturned the conviction and the sentencing, effectively releasing Namata.

Namata’s appeal was based on eight grounds which his lawyer Michael Chipeta summarized into two categories.

In the first category, Namata challenged his conviction, both on the theft as well as money laundering offences, while in the second category he is challenging the veracity of his sentence arguing that it was contrary to law and manifestly excessive.

Chipeta argued that the evidence brought before the High Court showed that government consented in issuing the payments of the money as such it could not be said that the elements of the offence of theft were proved.

While making reference to an earlier Supreme Court judgment, Chipeta also argued that once the money, deposited by a customer is in the bank, ownership of that money no longer belongs to the customer but bank.

“In this case the cheques were deposited in Standard Bank whether they were cashed later on by whoever got the payment from Standard Bank it can’t be said that ownership of that money was government it was Standard Bank according to this case [Supreme Court earlier ruling] that I am referring to,” explained Chipeta .

The judges agreed to set aside his convictions because they noted that “there is no predicate offence establishing conclusively proceeds of serious crime.”

The court acquitted Namata and the sentences were set aside.

Kasamba  freely decided to withdraw his appeal case.

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mchisala
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mchisala

This is the highest expression of incompetence by, not one, but three judges! The accused converted what did not belong to him into his assets–he unjustly enriched himself (he bought houses, cars, lived a lavish lifestyle on the unjustly acquired property) so unless he returns govt assets he has a case to answer regardless of how he converted govt assets into his assets! Our judges need to take their positions of dispensing justice a lot more seriously and not use them as laboratories to experiment on new ideas but also must fully understand the impact of their verdicts on the… Read more »

Listen and Love
Guest

Wait a minute. IS THIS NOT MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE? IT SMELLS BAD…

Salim
Guest
Salim

Mbava walking freely,shame on Malawi Judges

molopwana
Guest
molopwana

Malawi yomwe ndimaidziwa inetu ndiye iyi kikikiku

Biggi Saj
Guest
Biggi Saj

All the cashgate convicts will be acquitted. Then we (tax payers) will pay them massively – exemplary damages for wrongful arrest. Its a grand conspiracy, this. The lawyers, magistrates, high+supreme court judges know what they are doing. Wake-up, Malawi!.

Odala
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Odala

It is common knowledge that Namata enjoyed the proceeds of casgate. His life style was way beyond his means. He bought many houses all over town, a speed boat in Mangochi, flashy cars etc. He is out because state systems in Malawi dont work. The judiciary is probe to manipulation and corruption. The investigations are either incompetent or corrupt. It’s no wonder that we are the only country which is retrogressing alarmingly when our neighbours are progressing. We squander public funds with impunity and go to bed at night peacefully. The President has said the main cornerstones of his governance… Read more »

Tman
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Tman

So a Lutepo atulukeditu after all he pleaded guilty, he apologized to the nation, he restituted what he had benefited Oh I admire his guts he even declared to fight corruption and crime mmasuleni adzathandize a police ndi a acb kunja kuno

Muhapa
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Muhapa

A Malawi kudana ndi anthu otiavomeleza like Lutepo and those that pleaded guilty tkukonda okana kuvomeleza APA it would be better for this freedom to go to Lutepo I admire his courage to accept wrong doing he was not a government employee like these others abale free this repentant son of Malawi

Mapwiya
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Mapwiya

Lutepo amasulidwe basi join me on the free Lutepo because he admitted, he apologized and he declared to be an ambassador against crime and corruption and he has served what more do we need when on same case some are being acquitted

Zadapo
Guest
Zadapo

Just open the doors to all jails. Malawi is no longer a Republic worth recognizing! Convicts are being released in the name of bail, Namata, the owner of cashgate released? Ndalama ndi satana mapeto!!!! Its actually dangerous to be a prosecutor

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