Former president Joyce Banda’s son, Roy Kachale, has sued government for defamation after he was named in a 2013 audit report as having been involved in Cashgate, the plunder of public resources at Capital Hill.
According to civil case number 273 at the High Court in Blantyre, Kachale, who is also Zomba Malosa member of Parliament (MP) affiliated to People’s Party (PP), through private practice lawyer Mapopa Kumwenda is claiming undisclosed amount of money for defamation.
Said Kumwenda: “On pages 50, 115,116 and 117 of the said Report the Auditor General wrote, printed and published or caused to be printed words defamatory of Mr Kachale. They are trying to link our client of an alleged relationship to Caroline Savala and hence dragging him into this Cashgate fiasco.”
In September 2014, Baker Tilly published an audit report on Fraud and Mismanagement of Finances on behalf of the Malawi Government linking Kachale to businessperson Caroline Savala.
The High Court convicted Savala in 2015 for theft and money laundering of K84.9 million from Ministry of Tourism through her Carm Civil Engineering Company.
In an interview, Kumwenda said the words used and published in the report lower Kachale”s estimation in the minds of right thinking members of society.
He said: “We contend that the words are false and constitute a grave libel of Mr Kachale, as the said words in their natural and ordinary meaning, mean or are understood to mean that: Our client was a deceptive, manipulative, cunning and irresponsible person at the time when he was vying for a Public Office and that he was involved in plundering of government resources.”
Kumwenda said the damages will be quantified by the court after assessing them.
The court documents indicate that Kachale is claiming aggravated and exemplary damages for defamation.
While acknowledging receipt of the summons, the Attorney General’s Chambers deny being liable for damages for defamation and demands the plaintiff to provide strict proof.
Kachale’s mother was president between April 2012 and May 2014 when an audit analysis concluded that there was massive plunder of resources in government.
She was at the helm when Cashgate was exposed following the shooting on September 13 2013 of former Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo outside the gate of his Area 43 residence in Lilongwe.n