Three workers dismissed at international non-governmental organisation, ActionAid—one of the two principal beneficiaries of the Global Fund grants in the country—over a K26.9 million fraud, appeared before Lilongwe Magistrate Court to be formally charged and they plead not guilty.
The suspects are Crispin Banda, Masida Nyoni and Gaudensia Kansale.
The trio pleaded not guilty when Lilongwe chief resident magistrate Violet Chipawo asked them if they understood the charge and how they would plead.
“Not guilty,” pleaded Banda as Nyoni and Kansale echoed the same plea.
The suspects apllied for bail and the court granted aftet imposing bail conditions which include they they pay a bail bond of K100 000 each and two sureties bonded at K500 000 each not cash.
The suspsects have also been ordered to surrender their travel documents.
The court ordered all the suspects ti be reporting to National Police Headquarters in Lilongwe every fortnight.
Accoridng to National Police spokesman James Kadedzera, the suspects were operating a coordinated scheme that saw them draw cheques and cashing them without supporting documents, among others
ActionAid Malawi has since clarified that the misappropriated funds were not grants from the Global Fund for malaria, tuberculosis and HIV and Aids.
The organisation said this week that the funds were from other donors for different projects.
ActionAid Malawi acting country director Mohamed Sillah said the suspected fraud happened between last year and this year, but gave assurances that the situation is now under control.
He said the employees involved in the suspected fraud appeared before an internal disciplinary hearing which found them guilty of wrong-doing and were summarily dismissed.