Former principal secretary in the Ministry of Tourism Tressa Senzani walked to freedom yesterday morning after the Malawi Prisons Service (MPS) curtailed her prison term on the grounds of good behaviour.
Senzani was sentenced to nine months for theft and three years for money laundering to be served concurrently after she pleaded guilty to misusing K63.5 million from government through her private company, Visual Impact.
MPS public relations officer Smart Maliro confirmed that Senzani was one of the inmates who left Maula Prison yesterday not long after 6am when released inmates are allowed to go.
“It is indeed true that she [Senzani] has been released. I do not know the exact time she left Maula, but we usually allow people to go from 6am,” Maliro said.
Senzani was one of the first three people to be convicted on charges relating to Cashgate after forensic auditors Baker Tilly revealed that close to K24 billion of government money was unaccounted for within a period of six months.
Since her conviction, the courts have meted out stiffer sentences to Cashgate suspects, among them, businessperson Oswald Lutepo who was sentenced to 11 years imprisonment, but there are pending sentences to be meted out on contractor and civil servant James Bandula Chirwa who was charged with conspiracy to defraud government and money laundering of K513 million.
The court is also yet to sentence former Tourism officer Leonard Kalonga, who pleaded guilty to all charges levelled against him, including money laundering K3.2 billion and K520 million where he facilitated the purchase of six Marcopolo Scania buses without authorisation.
Kalonga has disclosed that he recruited 17 companies to steal from government and in his statement, he also implicated former president Joyce Banda as the one who instigated the scam to use the money for the 2014 Tripartite Elections campaign. n