Cashgate convict Caroline Savala suffered an emotional meltdown after the High Court in Lilongwe on Friday revoked her bail that saw her staying at home despite her conviction on theft and money laundering charges a fortnight ago.
Savala—–still awaiting sentencing after being found guilty of stealing K84 million of government funds, appeared in the court as her own character witness and after previously exercising her right to remain silence—-finally narrated her involvement in the Cashgate.
But as she sought for clemency and the court’s leniency, a tearful Savala slowly broke down emotionally, forcing the judge to call for a five-minute break at one point for her lawyer to help her calm down.
But she wept even more uncontrollably soon after Judge Fiona Mwale adjourned the proceedings, ordering her bail to be immediately revoked.
In a more dramatic turn of events, Savala then tore into special Cashgate prosecutor Kamudoni Nyasulu, loudly accusing him of reveling in her misery.
“I know you are happy. You always wanted me to be jailed. Now you are happy. I wish this should one day happen to your children too. You are a bad man,” a desolate Savala ranted.
Her mother and family attempted to console the 33-year-old Lilongwe businessperson, but so audible was the rant that brought the courtroom to standstill.
Nyasulu, a veteran prosecutor, who has so far won eight Cashgate cases, appeared unfazed.
Mwale upon the bail revocation said, following Savala’s conviction her “presumption of innocence” ceased and ordered her to be brought back into State custody.
The rant overshadowed an earlier dramatic court hearing in which Savala testified how she was hoodwinked into the scandal by a childhood friend Florence Chatuwa and Ministry of Tourism top official, Leonard Kalonga, both Cashgate suspects.
Savala was remorseful, spoke of the shame her conviction and arrest had brought on her family signaling out her parents, both in the court.
She described herself as God-loving, good-mannered young lady who could not have willingly “looted” and “plundered” national wealth had she known the treachery and scale of the plot she was participating in.
The court further heard how Savala, between June and July 2013, though she had never done any construction work before and was running a cosmetics shop that sold lipsticks, received government cheques within months from Kalonga amounting to K84 million and K44 million, respectively.
Savala told the court that Kalonga collected 90 percent of the funds once cashed from her Carm Civil Engineering Limited accounts, while she shared the 10 percent with Chatuwa who was the go-between of the two.
The case has been adjourned to a later date with the defence indicating one more character witness is expected to be paraded while the State will continue on resumption the cross examination into Savala.