Cashgate convict and State witness in the K2.4 billion scandal Leonard Kalonga yesterday accused the former People’s Party (PP) government of betraying his trust in the execution of the scheme.
The ongoing case involves former budget director Paul Mphwiyo and 18 others.
Kalonga told the High Court in Lilongwe, which is sitting at Civic Offices, that the Joyce Banda administration had shown signs that it was out to protect Mphwiyo and former Accountant General David Kandoje while sacrificing freedoms of others who were brought into the scandal.
He made the remarks when he was being cross-examined by Mphwiyo’s lead counsel Titus Mvalo.
He said: “[Mphwiyo] assured us of total government protection in case of disciplinary actions against us. But this did not happen [when the long arm of the law caught up with us].”
Kalonga admitted that he felt “bad” that the former administration failed to protect him and many others after they successfully executed the agreement they reached with Mphwiyo on behalf of government.
Another lawyer representing Mphwiyo, Shadreck Mhango, wondered whether Kalonga’s account could be trusted.
Mhango feared the State witness’ testimony was “tainted by virtue of your deceitfulness and dishonesty”.
But Kalonga dismissed the assertion, arguing that whatever he said in court was a true reflection of what happened in the scheme.
When the two lawyers finished cross-examining him, High Court Judge Esmie Chombo ordered the court to continue their proceedings in camera, effectively dismissing the public from the open court.
While apologising to the people that had come from various parts of the city to follow the case, Chombo said the next stage was sensitive requiring the absence of the public.