‘No direct Joyce Banda, Cashgate link’
The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Thursday admitted that it does not have concrete evidence linking former president Joyce Banda to Cashgate apart from earlier testimonies made in court against her by three Cashgate suspects two years ago.
The ACB, however, said it has reached an advanced stage in investigating Banda in a case involving Mudzi Transformation Trust in which the former president is alleged to have received huge sums of money from an oil exploration company through the trust.
ACB Director General Reyneck Matemba said this during an interface the ACB had with the media in Blantyre to report on the status of various cases the bureau is handling.
Matemba said all the bureau has in relation to Banda’s alleged involvement in Cashgate are testimonies which were given by Leonard Kalonga, Oswald Lutepo and the late Theresa Senzani while files which the bureau got from Baker Tilly—a UK-based audit firm which did a forensic audit on Cashgate—do not give any hint Banda is linked to Cashgate.
Matemba, however, said this is not conclusive as investigations are continuing.
“You may have heard of the warrant of arrest which the Fiscal Police issued last year. That was because they are also doing their investigations but we are also doing our own and we have made good progress,” he said.
Last year in July, National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera said they had a warrant of arrest for Banda for her involvement in Cashgate. However, later, the police became evasive about the warrant of arrest.
Banda has been in self-imposed exile since losing the 2014 elections. Banda’s link to Cashgate dealt her a political blow as her popularity waned towards the tripartite elections.
On the state of corruption in the country, Matemba said the bureau continues to receive more corruption reports but could not say whether this was a sign that corruption was on the increase.
Matemba said there are several reasons the bureau could be receiving more reports and complaints including public education campaigns.
During Chilembwe Day on January 15, President Peter Mutharika said corruption was not growing in the country but the madia were politicising the vice.
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