Former Malawi Police Service director of finance Elijah Wilson Kachikuwo on Friday escaped a jail sentence after the Lilongwe Magistrate’s Court handed him what appears to be first of its kind sentence in the ongoing Cashgate cases—a K2 million fine
Kachikuwo was being accused of negligence, which led to loss of K45 million of public money in 2011.
His lawyer Gift Katundu, who looked relieved, refused to comment, saying he had been instructed by his client not to talk to journalists.
But, while Kachikuwo was all smiles, two other convicts Vincent Churchill Nyondo and Francis Mkwamba had to put on a brave face as they were both handed custodial sentences of 20 years and five, respectively.
Nyondo was an Inspector of Police at the accounts department while Mkwamba is a businesperson.
Presiding principal resident magistrate Patrick Chirwa told the court that considering the seriousness of the offences for Nyondo and Mkwamba; namely theft by public servant, money laundering and abuse of public office, the court was compelled to give them 10 years and five years for each charge, respectively. The sentences will run, concurrently.
However, the magistrate brushed aside mitigation factors of poor health for both convicts arguing that there is no order barring the court from sentencing someone on medical grounds. n