There were mixed fortunes in the Blantyre Water Board (BWB) K128 million fraud case yesterday as the Blantyre Magistrate’s Court acquitted one suspect and found another guilty.
The court acquitted former BWB corporate client officer Brian Makote who was suspected of defrauding the water utility of about K128 million through a parallel bank account.
Makote, who was the second accused in the case, was answering two charges of money laundering and theft by public servant.
However, the court found the first accused in the case, Oscar Kapito, guilty of money laundering which attracts a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. The court is today scheduled to give its sentence.
The BWB fraud was exposed in August last year after Makote allegedly withdrew K20 million from an account that was opened with Nedbank Malawi Limited Blantyre Branch before he left the country for Botswana through Mwanza Border. He was later arrested by International Police (Interpol) in that country.
His colleague, Kapito, was suspected of being one of the signatories of the parallel account that was opened in the name of BWB Welfare Fund Account.
But in his ruling yesterday, senior resident magistrate Viva Nyimba said the State failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the second accused, Makote, had indeed committed the two offences.
But the magistrate said the evidence was strong enough against Kapito.
Details of the case showed that after the account was opened, four cheques from the Malawi Police Service (MPS) and State Residences amounting to K150 million were deposited between May and August 2017.