Fiscal Police in Blantyre on Wednesday questioned Gertrude Lutepo, wife to main Cashgate suspect Oswald Lutepo on her husband’s involvement in the scam, Weekend Nation has learnt.
The husband confirmed his wife’s summoning in a telephone interview but said she could not divulge information on the issue.
He said: “It is true my wife together with other directors of some of my companies were invited and questioned by the Fiscal Police in Blantyre, but she was there briefly and she is now home.”
But when contacted on the development, National Police spokesperson Rhoda Manjolo could neither deny nor confirm the development but said all investigations on massive theft and plunder of public finances at Capital Hill are being carried out by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).
“The Anti-Corruption Bureau is better placed to answer that question as they are the ones conducting investigations on issues surrounding Cashgate,” said Manjolo.
Lutepo’s companies O and G Construction and International Procurement Services (IPS), one of which Gertrude is director, have been mentioned to have allegedly been used to siphon government money at Capital Hill.
According to the Baker Tilly forensic audit report, IPS received high amounts of money from the Malawi Defence Force for services not rendered.
In a separate interview, Director of Public Prosecutions Mary Kachale disclosed that the State is still investigating activities of Lutepo’s company, saying once that is done, the police will forward a docket to the DPP and a decision to charge him or not will be made at that point.
Kachale could, however, not be drawn to comment on how government intends to recover the stolen money.
“Where stolen money has dissipated it cannot be recovered as one cannot recover what is not there. However, where it is still there or where it was used to buy assets, the law provides for recovery of such money and assets. In the event of convictions, government would proceed to use those legal provisions for recovery,” he said.
When quizzed on whether the questioning of Lutepo’s wife was orchestrated by her office, Kachale denied the assertion.
It is now almost a year since the State started probing Lutepo on the role he played in the infamous Cashgate which saw his three companies pocketing billions of kwacha in taxpayers’ money without providing any services.