Former Accounts Assistant in government Victor Sithole has claimed that the millions which were found in his possession did not belong to him but to businessman Oswald Lutepo.
Sithole, 27, has been charged with being found in possession of unexplained cash suspected to have been stolen amounting to K112 million, $31 800 (about K13.6 million) and R122 400 (about K4.5 million) in hard cash which was found at his house in Area 47 in September last year, leading to revelations of theft of government money, now dubbed Cashgate.
But Sithole, who is the only witness for the defence, said Lutepo, who is answering his own charges of theft and money laundering belonging to government, gave him K130 million to buy produce to supply to Agrifeeds.
He told the court that he knew Lutepo through a friend Dan Zimba and the two only met twice, to make agreements and to collect money.
Sithole said it was another friend, Chikumbutso Mwela, who informed him of Lutepo’s business interests before he even made contact with Lutepo through a telephone call.
“I was not given the money immediately. Chikumbutso Mwela called me to Standard Bank in Lilongwe where I met Lutepo. He gave me three bags of cash and I put them in the car. I left the money at home and went to Mchinji to find markets for maize,” Sithole said.
But during cross-examination, special prosecutor on Cashgate cases Kamudoni Nyasulu said there was reasonable suspicion that possession of the money was as a result of theft or money obtained unlawfully.
Meanwhile, the case has been adjourned to today when the allegedly stolen money would be inspected to find out whether it was obtained from National Bank of Malawi or Standard Bank.