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Paul Mphwiyo pleads not guilty in K2.4 billion case

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Cashgate suspect Paul Mphwiyo has asked the state to provide him with some documents which he would like to use in the case in which he and others are answering Cashgate charges involving K2.4 billion.

The request was made after Mphwiyo and 15 other suspects pleaded ‘not guilty’ to charges levelled against them.

One suspect, Stanley Mtambo, has, however, pleaded guilty to charges involving K78.6 million and has been convicted.

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Through lawyer Titus Mvalo, Mphwiyo asked the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Mary Kachale, to among others, provide him with Treasury Funding Authority Book, in respect to the period he is alleged to have committed the crime (April 1 to September 30, 2013).

“We would also want the DPP to provide us with Ifmis [Integrated Financial Management System], funding uploading records. We also want minutes of a meeting held at Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM), attended by Mphwiyo, with a team

from Treasury and RBM,” Mvalo said.

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The request was made after Andy Kaonga, lawyer for one of the accused persons, Roosevelt Ndovi, also asked the state to provide images of cheques his client accused to have signed between April 1 and September 30, 2013.

But presiding judge Esmie Chombo urged the lawyers to make the requests in writing.

“You have to write asking for all the documents you need so that the court facilitates the process. When we come in January, we want to proceed without hitches,” Chombo said.

The other issue that characterised yesterday’s proceedings is the plea of guilty of one of the suspects, Mtambo.

He pleaded guilty of laundering government’s K78.6 million through the account of Walusako General Dealers a company he co-owns with his wife.

Judge Chombo convicted him for the offence.

Although Kachale said the state wanted to sentence Mtambo alongside the other suspects, who have not pleaded guilty, when their case is concluded. Mtambo opted to have his bail revoked and go to prison immediately.

Kaonga who is also representing him confirmed his client’s position.

Two suspects, Lumumba Karim and Sympathy Chisale are, however, yet to take plea after they failed to appear in court yesterday.

Although Kachale said she was notified about Chisale’s absence, she said she was not aware what made Karim not to be present in court.

She, however, said should Chisale, who was said to be in Mozambique, fail to appear in court in the next meeting, the state will apply for revocation of bail.

But for Karim, she applied for revocation of his bail. According to lawyer Wapona Kita, he failed to go to court because of an asthmatic attack.

But Judge Chombo has asked Karim to provide medical documents from both South Africa and Malawi about his medical condition. She said failure to do so, she will revoke his bail.

She said the two will take plea in the next sitting.

The matter has since been adjourned to January 9, 2017.

Some of the charges the suspects, some of whom are government officials, are answering are conspiracy to defraud government, money laundering, theft by public servant and theft by servant.

The contractors in the case are answering charges of lending certificates for personation and money laundering.

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