The High Court in Lilongwe on Wednesday sentenced Cashgate convict Godfrey Dzanjalimodzi to 8 years imprisonment with hard labour (IHL) for stealing and laundering K338 million ( about $ 610 000) of public funds.
According to testimony tendered in court by the State, the money was paid to Dzanjalimodzi’s firm WJ Construction and another company, WEK Construction, when there were no contracts between government and the companies.
Passing the sentence, Judge Ivy Kamanga said the court considered the gravity of the case as the country is currently suffering from the consequences of the convict’s conduct adding that the money he stole from government could have better been used for some important developmental works.
She said: “The court agrees with the State that the offences committed by the convict are serious considering that the society is suffering from this conduct. The money that he stole could have been used by government in developing this country.”
Dzanjalimodzi pleaded not guilty to both charges and throughout the trial he kept on claiming that he was only used by the then top government officials to release the said money.
Kamanga however disputed the claims arguing that the convict is a well educated individual who knew his work very well and the consequences of his behavior hence no one could have taken advantage of him or used him to steal from government.
She said: “ The court has come to a conclusion that the convict was not used by other government officials as he claim, considering that he is a well educated individual who went up to university level, hence is capable of making independent decisions and probably aware of the consequences of every decision he makes.”
Commenting on the sentence in an interview with Nation Online, State prosecutor Enock Chibwana expressed satisfaction with the ruling saying the convict never showed remorse over his conduct from day one hence the sentence was appropriate.
“The convict was not remorseful because from day one, evidence showed that he stole K338 million from government, however he kept denying to have done so hence the sentence is stiff and appropriate. As State we are satisfied,” said Chibwana.
Dzanjalimodzi has been on remand at Maula Prison since January this year.
After his conviction, he fired his lawyer Gift Nankhuni and has been handling court matters alone since then.