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Paul Mphwiyo spends 5th night in custody

Former Budget Director in the Ministry of Finance, Paul Mphwiyo, has spent his fifth night at Maula Prison where he is being remanded following the State’s application that his bail hearing should be made Thursday.

Mphwiyo, who was arrested last Friday, is being accused together with 17 others of different crimes related to the stealing of K2.4 billion from government coffers.

Some of his co-accused, whose arrests happened between last Sunday and Monday, have since been granted bail by High Court Judge Esmy Chombo when they appeared before her yesterday at the High Court in Lilongwe.

They include former Principal Accountant Roosevelt Ndovi, Auzius Kazombo Mwale and Clemence Madzi.

Others, who are being accused of playing different roles in the stealing of the K2.4 billion, include former Accountant General David Kandoje, businessperson Stafford Mpoola, Maxwell Namata, George Banda, Michael Mphatso and Samuel Mzanda.

Others are Andrew Patrick Chilalika, Sympathy Chisale, Fatch Chungano, Limumba Karim, Stanley Mtambo, Cecilia Mervis Ng’ambi, Gerald Magaleta Phiri and Ndaona Satema.

Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Mary Kachale, said the State had no objections to bail applications by other 17 suspects except Mphwiyo, who has counts of conspiracy to defraud, theft by public servant, or in the alternative, theft by servant and abuse of public office hanging over his head.

“The matter for Paul Mphwiyo has been adjourned to tomorrow [today] because the state is not objecting to bail applications for the seven but we will be raising objections to bail for Paul Mphwiyo,” said Kachale.

She further justified the rearrests of the suspects who were already arrested in connection with the same charges, saying the amounts of money which each of them is being accused of stealing have been revised upwards.

“In the previous case, it was just some of the money that we were looking at… For Accountant General staff, Paul Mphwiyo and Ministry of Tourism accounts people, there will be so much money to charge them with.

“We cannot charge them with all of it at once. Inevitably, they will be arrested today for this amount; they will be arrested tomorrow for another amount. But this is the highest yet they have been charged with,” said Kachale.

She added that the contractors, who include Mpoola, Chilalika, Chisale, Chungano and Karim, were not arrested because they are already on bail and the amount that they were initially charged with has not changed.

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