Some of the 18 accused persons in the K2.4 billion Cashgate case yesterday told the High Court in Lilongwe that their business bank accounts were used in siphoning out public resources.
Ndaona Satema of Kanengo Building Contractors told the court through her lawyer Moses Nkhono that her business bank account was used in the stealing of money from the government’s Account Number One.
However, Nkhono said Satema did not get her commission for executing the assignment as submitted by State witness Leonard Kalonga, a Cashgate convict and former Ministry of Tourism and Culture tourism officer.
Said Nkhono: “My client has instructed me to tell the court that she admits that three cheques went through her account. But the admission of these facts is not admitting the offence.
“Rather, she is admitting that the cheques indeed went through her Kanengo Building Contractors’ bank account and that she indeed withdrew those cheques and remitted the whole sum of money to Kalonga who had given her.”
Nkhono added that his client is disputing Kalonga’s testimony that she got her 10 percent share in the deal.
Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mary Kachale submitted to presiding judge Esme Chombo that owners of some of the named companies had confirmed that their accounts were also used to cash out government cheques.
She said: “[But] what they are disputing is that they took 10 percent and they knew the purpose for which this money was being drawn.”
Kachale said the accused persons who confirmed that their accounts were used in the scam include Sympathy Chisale of Mchemani Building Contractors, Fatch Chungano of Makhausi and Stafford Mpoola whose three companies were engaged.
Mpoola’s companies included Stadal Building Contractors, Dan Civil Engineering and Image Investments.
Kalonga is expected to continue giving his testimony this morning after which the accused persons will cross-examine him. n