Mist surrounds government’s purported handover of closed circuit television (CCTV) footage showing meetings between former president Joyce Banda and Cashgate suspect Oswald Lutepo to the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).
Whereas government posted a statement on the official Malawi News Agency (Mana) website, manaonline, indicating it has handed over the footage to ACB, the graft-busting body has expressed ignorance of the same.
According to Malawi government official Twitter Account and Malawi News Agency (Mana) on line, government has also surrendered copies of gate entry registers and appointment bookings for Lutepo to see the former president.
The footage, recorded between December 2012 and September 2013, shows one meeting at Mzuzu Stage Lodge, 10 at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe, 11 at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre and one at Chikoko Bay in Mangochi.
Reads the statement: “In some of the meetings, the CCTV footages show one on one meetings between Lutepo and the former president while other meetings include some senior members of the former ruling People’s Party [PP] and some former Cabinet ministers.”
Government also says that much as it was willing to parade the recordings in public, legal advice has prevented it.
It, however, denies that the action is aimed at influencing decisions in the ongoing Cashgate cases, saying both the Judiciary and law enforcing agencies are independent.
“The role of government is just to facilitate the process so that Malawians know who actually stole public money, a heartless tendency that has translated into misery and making Malawians destitute in their own land,” said the statement from the Ministry of Information, Tourism and Culture.
However, ACB deputy director Reyneck Matemba said yesterday the bureau is not aware of the purported CCTV footage.
Said Matemba in an interview: “I have asked the director, those carrying out investigations and many others. They have all denied knowledge of the footage.”
Banda’s personal assistant Andekuche Chanthunya said he will respond after reading the statement, which comes after Lutepo claimed on Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) that the former president was part of Cashgate