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Anti-Corruption Bureau re-arrests Cashgate suspect

The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Monday re-arrested Cashgate suspect, Chikondi Chimutu, after the High Court in Lilongwe revoked his bail for failing to appear for trial without giving reasons.

Chimutu is third accused in a case in which Cornelius Kamphamtengo and his wife Yvonne plus 12 civil servants are accused of stealing K201 million in 2011 from the then Ministry of Elderly and Disability Affairs through Accountant General’s Office.

Presiding Judge, Charles Mkandawire, earlier in the day instructed ACB Deputy Director General, Reyneck

Matemba, who is prosecuting the case, to hunt for the suspect and have him arrested.

Chimutu, who is representing himself in the case and is answering theft charges is alleged to have benefitted K18.3 million from the K201 million which is believed to have been shared among the 14 suspects who are each answering charges of money laundering, conspiracy to commit a felony and theft.

“Look for him, find him and have him arrested because no reasons have been given for his absence. This will also serve as a lesson to other suspects to take this case seriously. No one should just choose to stay away for no reason,” Mkandawire said.

In May this year, Chimutu asked the court for an extension of time to allow the State to find a document from Ministry of Disability relevant to his cross-examination. At the time, Matemba had indicated that officials from the ministry were asking for more time to trace the document.

The Judge also informed the court that the case is his last criminal case to preside over, saying he will from now onwards be handling civil cases.

“That is why I want to finish this case as soon as possible so that I can concentrate better on my new session. The defence team, after hearing the evidence from all the witnesses, you need to agree on how much time you think you will need to finish cross-examining the witnesses,” Mkandawire said.

The State has since finished parading its last two witnesses out of the 13 who are investigation officers. The other 10 witnesses were from ODPP, Ministry of Disability, and Accountant General and Registrar Generals offices.

According to the State, the 14 suspects connived with Kamphamtengo, who owned Nova Technologies and General Dealers, to swindle government of the money and shared it among themselves.

The other suspects in the case include Tendai Nayeja who allegedly pocked K27.1 million, Tapiwa Ng’oma, who got K9.1 million, Jimmy Mbuliro K3 million, Wides Mbuliro Machika, who is said to have benefitted K500, 000, Khumbo Banda, K2.7 million, Emmanuel Yesaya, K27.4 million, Deusdedit Tenthani, K16.2 million, Audney Kamitengeni, who allegedly received K9.9 million.

Conrad Nambala allegedly pocketed K38.4 million, and Squire Chakwana and Justina Nyirenda who reportedly got K10.7 million each.

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