Anti-Corruption Bureau arrests ex-army chiefs
The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) yesterday arrested former Malawi Defence Force (MDF) Commander Henry Odillo and his the then deputy Colonel Clement Kafuwa in connection with the abuse of public funds in a case otherwise known as Cashgate.
In a statement it released yesterday, the ACB says the arrests have been made in connection with payments that were made to Thuso Investments without the firm supplying the services to the Malawi army.
In the statement signed by its Senior Public Relations Officer, Egrita Ndala, the ACB says it has established that MDF paid K1.92 billion to the firm for the supply of blank ammunition.
However, according to the statement, the ammunition was never delivered.
According to the Bureau, Odillo and Kafuwa may be charged with the following counts:
- One count of abuse of public office contrary to Section 25B(1) of the Corrupt Practices Act
- One count of negligence by public officer in preserving money or any other property contrary to Section 284(1) of the Penal Code
- One count of money laundering contrary to Section 35(1) (d) of the Money Laundering, Proceeds of Serious Crimes and Terrorist Financing Act
It also says they will be taken to court after the Bureau has recorded statements from them.
Odillo was arrested in Lilongwe while Kafuwa was arrested in Blantyre.
Odillo and Kafuwa were at the helm of the Malawi Defence Force at the time that massive plunder of public money at Capital Hill came to light.
Reports indicate that over K20 billion was looted in the scheme.
An audit report by British firm Baker Tilly on the case alleged that Odillo co-signed two cheques with two other top army officials in favour of Thuso Investments, a South African company.
Odillo was appointed in July 2011 as commander of the MDF.
But he particularly made headlines in 2012 when it emerged that he had shot down alleged attempts by some Cabinet ministers for the army to take over government immediately after the death of President Bingu wa Mutharika in April 2012.
Reports say Odillo told the Cabinet minsters that there was no Constitutional provision that allowed the army to take over.
His upholding of the Constitution paved way for Joyce Banda, then vice-president, to take over the reign instead.
In June last year, President Peter Mutharika sacked Odillo as MDF Commander and replaced him with Major General Ignancio Maulana
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