The State has started building cases against businessperson Godfrey Dzanjalimodzi, who is accused of theft and laundering K338 million (US$830 466.83). The State paraded three witnesses at the High Court in Lilongwe yesterday.
Representative of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Kamudoni Nyasulu, presented to the court nine photocopies of cheques amounting to K338 million which were payable to Dzanjalimodzi’s firm WJ Construction and one payable to WEK Construction.
The second State witness, Pete Makanga, who works as chief professional development officer at the Office of the Director of Public Procurement (ODPP) attempted to help the State prove that WJ Construction had no contract with government which would have necessitated payment of K338 million.
Makanga said as desk officer for the Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Local Government, he was asked to check if WJ Construction had performed any services for the Malawi Government, but he found no such evidence.
“I checked in the files, I have no evidence that the ODPP issued a no objection to the Ministry of Tourism to award a contract to WJ Construction,” he said.
But upon further inquiry during cross examination from Dzanjalimodzi’s lawyer Chris Tukula, Makanga admitted that he was not asked to check files of the Accountant General’s department where is also desk officer.
Director of buildings in the Ministry of Lands and Housing Hastings Chiudzu said he only found one record of construction by the Ministry of Tourism and it was not WJ Construction carrying out the works.
But Tukula argued that a certain Andrew Kilembe, who was an assistant chief quantity surveyor in the Buildings Department and involved in the assessment of works, could have been the one more knowledgeable of the contract.
Earlier, the first witness, director of finance and administration in the Ministry of Tourism, Kenson Mbwana said he was aware that the cheques displayed belonged to the government not to the ministry where the money was allegedly siphoned.
A few weeks ago, Dzanjalimodzi objected to the duplicity of the charges against him because he was being charged with theft of the amount of K338 million, which was also appearing on the same charge of money laundering as this was tantamount to charging twice for the same offence which was irregular.