The State on Friday paraded two witnesses in an effort to prove that contractor Godfrey Dzanjalimodzi stole and laundered K338 million (about $610 000) during the infamous 2013 Cashgate period.
The two witnesses have waited for close to two years to testify in the case which stalled for various reasons, among them the illness of presiding High Court judge Ivy Kamanga.
The case took a turn for the worst for Dzanjalimodzi when his co-director in WG Construction,
Mavuto NATIONMadimbo, testified that he became scared when Dzanjalimodzi informed him that a K91 million cheque was deposited into the company account but its source was unknown.
Madimbo said when he queried Dzanjalimodzi he was told there was nothing to discuss and that he (Madimbo) should leave things alone.
The co-director told the court that WG Construction had contracts to build schools in Kasungu, Chikwawa and Lilongwe districts, but the company sub-contracted because it lacked capacity to undertake the projects.
He said: “I was surprised when the subcontractor called me to query why we were not paying her when a K91 million cheque had just been deposited into our account.
“I was scared after I heard about the cheque and when I didn’t get an explanation from him [Dzanjalimodzi] I approached ACB [Anti-Corruption Bureau] who said my company was under watch over the suspicious transactions.”
When hired public prosecutor Enock Chibwana queried if Madimbo was aware of the source of the cheques, he told the court that Dzanjalimodzi deposited the cheques himself without the knowledge of other directors.
Dzanjalimodzi would then electronically transfer the money from the account using a password of electronic banking facility which his co-directors did not know, said Madimbo.
As Madimbo narrated the betrayal of his friend from college days in 1988 and then workmate at the Ministry of Transport and Public Works afterwards, Dzanjalimodzi sat in the dock with his head bowed down throughout.
On the few occassions that Dzanjalimodzi looked would speak to the floor apparently to avoid direct eye contact.
Madimbo left the court premises soon after he was told that the prosecution had no more questions for him.
The State also paraded as a witness National Construction Industry Council (NCIC) technical director Gerald Khonje who confirmed to the court that WG Construction was registered and flouted council regulations when it was named in the Baker Tilly forensic report among suspects to have fraudulently obtained money from the government.
He said NCIC suspended WG Construction and called the three directors to a hearing where they opted to remain silent.
However, Dzanjalimodzi’s lawyer Gift Nankhuni put it to Khonje that his client went to NCIC with a lawyer, but he was not given an opportunity to be heard.
Nankhuni also queried how the council knew that the transactions which WG Construction carried out were in contravention of the NCIC regulations when Dzanjalimodzi’s criminal case was not concluded.
In 2013, the shooting of former Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo outside the gate of his Area 43 residence in Lilongwe led to revelations of the plunder of public resources at Capital Hill called Cashgate.
Former president Joyce Banda ordered an audit which British forensic auditor, Baker Tilly, undertook between April and September 2013 and established that about K24 billion was siphoned from public coffers through dubious payments, inflated invoices and goods or services never rendered.
In May last year, a financial analysis report by audit and business advisory firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) also established that about K577 billion in public funds could not be reconciliated between 2009 and December 31 2014.