Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mary Kachale has asked the High Court to summon the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to provide a missing document she said has names of beneficiaries of K4.4 billion ($5.8 million) Cashgate proceeds.
The missing document is said to have been found in Cashgate convict and former deputy director for tourism Leonard Kalonga’s house by ACB investigators who searched his house.
Kachale told the court in Lilongwe yesterday that she has been asking for that document for a year now, but ACB has not been forthcoming, hence her request for the court to summon the graft-busting body.
She said: “I do not have the powers to ask ACB for a production of documents. That is why I think it is a viable way to ask the High Court to intervene in the matter.”
In an interview outside the courtroom, Kachale said if High Court Judge Fiona Mwale does not grant her the request she will raise the matter at another forum.
She could not explain the relevance of the file or whether the judge granting the request would change the course of Kalonga’s case. However, she said it was in the interest of justice that she was asking for the document.
But ACB deputy director general Reyneck Matemba said he was aware of the referred document. He could, however, not give details on the whereabouts of the document.
He said: “The document was in another department, that is, investigations department and unfortunately this was not shared with those in the prosecution department.
“But I am sure all this would be provided. It is just unfortunate that when the statement was being made, both the director and myself were not working with the bureau.”
An interview document dated October 22 2013 from ACB, which The Nation has seen, reveals that there was a list of all the names and contractors to be paid the K4.4 billion Cashgate money.
In response to Kachale’s plea, Kalonga’s lawyer Emmanuel Theu said he saw no justification and relevance in the DPP’s move to raise the issue in court as it has no impact on the course of the trial.
But the DPP insisted that she was doing this in the interest of justice.
Meanwhile, the judge has adjourned Kalonga’s sentence hearing to look at the new assertions which have been put in the convict’s mitigation statements.
Kachale felt some assertions where Kalonga has accused both the DPP’s office and the ACB of preventing him from pleading guilty earlier on were not true and needed a response.
On August 26 last year, the High Court convicted Kalonga on his own plea of guilty for stealing K3.7 billion ($4.9 million) in the ongoing Cashgate trials.
He mentioned former president Joyce Banda as having been involved in what has come to be known as Cashgate, the plunder of public resources at Capital Hill.
The shooting on September 13 2013 of then Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo outside the gate of his Area 43 house in Lilongwe led to revelations of the plunder of resources.
Banda ordered an audit which British forensic auditor, Baker Tilly, undertook covering the period between April and September 2013 and established that about K24 billion ($31.8 million) was siphoned from public coffers through dubious payments, inflated invoices and goods or services not rendered.
In May 2014, a financial analysis report by audit and business advisory firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) also established that about K577 billion ($765.3 million) in public funds could not be reconciliated for the period between 2009 and December 31 2014.