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Treza Senzani’s soul haunts Cashgaters

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She may be gone but there are chances that the statement of former principal secretary for tourism and Cashgate convict, the late Treza Senzani, on Cashgate of 2013 may be used in former budget director Paul Mphwiyo and 18 others K2.4 billion case.

Senzani was the first most senior official to be jailed of Cashgate in October 2014 but died in December 2016, two months after she walked to freedom.

She had been sentenced to three years imprisonment after she pleaded guilty to stealing over K60 million of government money.

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The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Mary Kachale, has made an application using section 173(3) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Code asking the court to allow the |State to use Senzani’s statement against the 19 suspects.

The section provides for the use of the statement of a person who cannot be called as witness.

It provides that such a statement can be used as a relevant fact when the statement was against the pecuniary [financial] or proprietary interest of the person making it, or when, if true, it would expose him or would have exposed him to a criminal prosecution or to a suit for damages.

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Kachale said in the court on Wednesday that her office is just waiting for the court’s nod to make the statement part of the case.

“We have made two applications and one of them is aimed at getting the court’s approval that late Treza Senzani’s statement should be admissible,” Kachale said.

Defence lawyers finished cross-examining first State witness Leonard Kalonga.

Some of the lawyers who were involved in the very last round of Kalonga cross-examination included Michael Goba Chipeta representing Maxwell Namata, Gilbert Khonyongwa representing businessman Fatchi Chungano and Clemence Madzi of Accountant General’s office as well as Shadreck Mhango representing information systems analyst Steve Phiri.

In his cross-examination, Mhango questioned the circumstances in which Kalonga made an additional confession statement while at Mikuyu Prison in Zomba.

According to Mhango, it is in that additional statement where Kalonga is mentioning Phiri.

Mhango, therefore, pressed Kalonga to say if he considers the statement useful and whether it was given at the witness’ own will.

Kalonga is said to have made that statement in the presence of two officers from fiscal police.

“At whose initiative did you say that? Is it you who told fiscal police that you had additional information or the fiscal police felt you had something to add?” Mhango asked.

But Kalonga said he made a commitment to make a statement whenever and wherever any agency needs it.

Chipeta just asked Kalonga a series of questions which resulted in Kalonga responding ‘no’ to most of them.

He asked Kalonga whether Namata ever worked at Ministry of Tourism, worked for any business entity, any of the banks involved, Financial Intelligence Unit or participated or vied for positions in the so-called main beneficiary of Cashgate loot, People’s Party.

The State is expected to re-examine Kalonga today and, if time permits, the second State witness may be introduced

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