The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has welcomed Tuesday’s conviction of three senior police officers in a corruption case commonly known as 2010 Cashgate, saying their conviction will send a strong signal to public officers to resist corruption.
The graft-busting body was reacting to the Lilongwe Magistrate’s Court conviction of Deputy Commissioner of Police Elija Kachikuwo and his colleagues Francis Mkwamba and Vincent Nyondo. However, the court acquitted the fourth accused person in the case, Wilson Chandema.
In an interview on Tuesday, ACB acting director general Reyneck Matemba said the ruling was a deterrent to other civil servants to guard against abuse of office.
He said: “This is a welcome victory for us at the bureau and the fight against corruption in general. If you recall about the theme for this year’s International Day against Corruption, we were urging the public to ensure accountability and action for duty bearers.”
In the case, widely described as the genesis of Cashgate which was exposed in 2013, about K45million in public funds is said to have been embezzled in 2010 in the Malawi Police Service (MPS).
The four worked in the MPS finance department and allegedly prepared a K45 million payment to Classic Motors for goods and services which were not delivered.
However, another related case involving K400 million is still in the courts and it also involves some of the convicts.
The three convicts will now wait for sentencing set for January 2 2018. They will await their sentences at Maula Prison in Lilongwe after the court immediately revoked their bail.
Presiding magistrate Patrick Chirwa granted freedom to Chandema, who was a co-signatory of the MPS bank accounts and whose role the courts deemed too weak for conviction.