Lilongwe Chief Resident Magistrate’s Court yesterday granted bail to former Malawi deputy ambassador to Ethiopia Doreen Kapanga and former secretary for administration and finance Fletcher Chowe.
Fiscal Police on Tuesday arrested Kapanga and Chowe who are being suspected to have been involved in the siphoning of K293 million($409 790) out of the public purse, and deposited the money into their personal accounts.
An investigative audit into the plunder of resources at Malawi Embassy in Ethiopia revealed that K293 million was siphoned out of the public purse and deposited into personal accounts.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Francis Kasaila told The Nation in an earlier interview that auditors who were assigned to investigate “have indeed uncovered massive fraudulent activities taking place at the mission”.
Kasaila disclosed that the plunder was detected in April 2016 Chowe wrote a cheque in his name.
The cheque was signed by Kapanga, according to an earlier account by the minister.
National Police deputy spokesperson Thomeck Nyaude told The Nation on Tuesday that Kapanga and Chowe were arrested to pave the way for investigations in the matter.
However, chief resident magistrate Ruth Chinangwa yesterday granted them bail at K1 million each.
Chinangwa further ordered the two not to dispose of their property until the case ends.
“The accused persons will further be required to report to Area 30 Police once every week,” she ruled.
Theft of public resources at the Malawi Embassy in Ethiopia prompted government to write the Auditor General (AG) to conduct independent audits in all other missions, beginning with those which have not been audited in the recent past.
The exercise was expected to start with Pretoria Mission and Johannesburg Consulate from May 9 2016, according to Kasaila.
Former minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation George Chaponda once asserted that the fraud has all the characteristics of the infamous Cashgate, which saw government losing K24 billion.
Chinangwa has since set May 30 2016 as the day the two will appear in court for committal.