Former Ministry of Tourism principal secretary (PS) Tressa Namathanga Senzani is set to walk to freedom next week after serving her three-year jail term.
The 50-year-old, who became the first Cashgate suspect to be sentenced, was thrown in jail on October 7 2014 for money laundering and theft charges after she pleaded guilty to both counts on August 28 2014.
The former senior government official was given three years and nine months custodial sentences for money laundering and theft, respectively. The two sentences ran concurrently, meaning she has only served two years.
Malawi Prison Service (MPS) spokesperson Smart Maliro confirmed yesterday that Senzani was indeed set to be freed next week after serving her jail term.
He said the convict would be freed in line with Section 107 (i) of the Prisons Act which provides for one-third remission of the sentence because of good behaviour, among other conditions.
Reads the section in part: “A convicted prisoner under sentence of imprisonment for a period of more than one month, other than prisoner sentenced to imprisonment for life, may earn by satisfactory industry and good conduct remission of one-third of his sentence.”
If Senzani had not qualified for the remission, she would have been released on October 6 2017, the time her three years would have ended, according to a brief from MPS.
Said Maliro: “What the Act says is exactly that is happening now, we are just following the application of the law. In fact, this has not just happened to her, it happens to every prisoner.”
The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) arrested Senzani on October 21 2013 after the bureau received a complaint alleging that government officers at Capital Hill in Lilongwe were making entries in the Integrated Financial Management System (Ifmis) and siphoning out money.
Malawi Law Society (MLS) honorary secretary Khumbo Bonzo Soko said there was nothing strange with her release as it was in line with what the law stipulates.