16 witnesses in BWB fraud case


The State has told the court that it will parade 16 witnesses in a case where two public servants for Blantyre Water Board (BWB), Brian Makoti and Foster Kapito, are answering money laundering and theft by public servant charges.
The two are suspected to have defrauded BWB K128 million.
The duo appeared before Blantyre Senior Resident Magistrate’s Court on Friday for plea-taking but have since denied their charges.
However, the State lead prosecutor, Christopher Katani, told the court that they will parade 16 witnesses, two of whom gave their testimonies on Friday.
“After the two took plea, we told the court on the number of witnesses we would parade and we successfully paraded two witnesses. After their testimonies, their defence attorney applied for bail which we turned down as the State,” he said.
One of the defence lawyers, Chancy Gondwe, told the court that the accused have been in detention for a while; as such, they need bail as it is a constitutional right.
But the State objected, arguing the court should not grant the accused bail as they are at ‘flight risk’.
“We turned down the application weighing that the second accused [Makoti] fled the country to Botswana where it took a long time for the police to arrest him. Similarly, according to the evidence which has been presented in court, it also shows that the other accused is also a flight risk,” he said.
Katani said Kapito, who is the first accused, escaped from Limbe Nedbank Branch, after he was suspected to be a fraudster when he presented a K20 million cheque in the bank.
Makoti was arrested in September this year in Botswana by International Police (Interpol) and was brought in the country on October 23.
However, Senior Resident Magistrate Viva Nyimba has reserved his ruling on the bail application to tomorrow.
The two accused are still on remand at Chichiri Prison.
Makoti, who was working as BWB corporate client officer, and his accomplice are said to have opened a BWB Welfare Fund account at Nedbank Blantyre Branch where they diverted cheques worth K150 million from Malawi Police Service and State Residences between July and August this year.

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