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Dalitso Kabambe charged with four counts

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The State Tuesday charged former Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) governor Dalitso Kabambe, former deputy governor Henry Mathanga and two others with four counts of abuse of office, neglect of office and money laundering.

As Chief Resident Magistrate Patrick Chirwa read out the charges, Kabambe appeared composed and nodded when the court wanted to know if he understood the counts.

According to the charge sheet which Police Prosecutor Levison Mangani submitted, the first two counts border on abuse of office, as stipulated in Section 95(2) of the Penal Code.

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“Dalitso Kabambe, Henry Mathanga, Rodrick Wiyo and Leah Donga between the month of October 2019 and June 2020 at the Reserve Bank of Malawi in the City of Lilongwe being persons employed as Governor, Deputy Governor Operations, Director of Financial Market Operations and Senior Dealer Finance Market Operations, respectively, at Reserve Bank of Malawi abused your authority by doing an arbitrary act, to wit; paying a compensation amounting to K4.3 billion to FDH Malawi Limited without prior approval of the Board of Directors of the Reserve Bank of Malawi which act resulted in the Reserve Bank of Malawi losing the said sum of K4.3 billion,” the first count reads.

“Dalitso Kabambe, Henry Mathanga, Rodrick Wiyo and Leah Ndonga at the same time and place as stated in the first count being persons employed as Governor, Deputy Governor Operations, Director of Financial Market Operations and Senior Dealer Finance Market Operations, respectively, at the Reserve Bank of Malawi abused your authority by doing an arbitrary act, to wit; providing credit facilities amounting to K3,131,997,569.46 to Mulli Brothers Limited, Rock-Ba-Rock, Web Commercials and F.F Trading without prior approval [from] the Board of Directors of the Reserve Bank of Malawi which act resulted in the Reserve Bank of Malawi losing the said sum of K4.3 billion,” the second count reads.

The third count is on the neglect of official duty, as stipulated in Section 121 of the Penal Code, which says that the four accused neglected to perform such duties by establishing letters of credit in favour of Mulli Brothers Limited, Rock-Ba-Rock, Web Commercials and F.F Trading without conducting money laundering and financial due diligence on the said companies.

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According to the charge sheet, the accused persons have also been slapped with a charge of money laundering, in line with Section 42(1) (c) as read with Section 42(3) (c) of Financial Crimes Act Cap 7:07 of the Laws of Malawi.

“Dalitso Kabambe, Henry Mathanga, Rodrick Wiyo and Leah Ndonga, at the same time and place as stated in the first count, knowingly acquired the sum of K8.3 billion with the knowledge that the sum represented directly or indirectly the proceeds of a predictable offence of abuse of public office,” the charge sheet indicates.

In its submission, the State asked the court that the four suspects be remanded for another 14 days to allow the Malawi Police Service to conclude investigations into the matter.

However, lawyer for Kabambe, Fostino Maere, said rules of natural justice require that an arrest follows an investigation as opposed to investigations coming after the arrest of a suspect.

He said the State should not be allowed to punish suspects in the name of conducting further investigations into issues.

Chirwa said he would deliver his ruling, on whether to grant bail to the four, at 2pm Wednesday.

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