In the continued crackdown of Malawi’s largest financial scandal, suspect Esnart Ndovi has pleaded guilty to charges of money laundering of funds amounting to K12.9m from the government in August 2013.
With the move, Ndovi will undergo sentencing hearing before the court determines the punishment after she also got convicted by High Court in Lilongwe on her own plea.
Her pleading guilty means she has been added to four people list that have lately pleaded guilty to various cases in the cashgate scandal.
Osward Lutepo, Tressa Senzani, Leonard Kalonga and James Bandula Chirwa all pleaded guilty to various cases they were answering.
At the moment, High Court in Lilongwe is on Wednesday expected to resume hearing a case in which 14 people, among them government accountants and a private sector individual, are accused of allegedly conspiring to steal K201 million from government in 2011.
Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) deputy director general Reyneck Matemba confirmed that the case resumes on November 4 for all the accused persons to take plea.
When the court reconvened last month, High Court Judge Charles Mkandawire adjourned the case following preliminary objections from defence lawyers that the State, represented by Matemba, did not give them sufficient time to study the evidence before their clients could take plea.
There are 14 accused persons in the case who the ACB wants to prove were involved in the theft and money laundering of K201 million from the then Ministry of Disability Affairs through the Accountant General’s office.
Cornelius Kaphantengo, who was director of Nova Technology and General Dealers, has been charged with conspiracy to commit a felony, theft and money laundering while his wife, Yvonne, is co-accused on the same counts.
According to the charge sheet, the 14 allegedly shared among themselves K201 million between November 2010 and June 2011 and they are jointly charged with conspiracy to commit a felony and money laundering.
Other co-accused persons are Chikondi Chimutu, whose charge of theft involves K18.3 million of the K201 million, Emmanuel Yesaya whose charge of theft involves K27.4 million, Deusdedit Tenthani who allegedly got a share of K16.2 million, Tendai Nayeja (K27.1 million), Audney Kamitengeni (K9.9 million), Conrad Nambala (K38.4 million), Justina Nyirenda charged with abuse of public office as she was an accounts assistant in the Accountant General’s office and Squire Chakwana charged with theft of K10.7 million.
Others are Jimmy Mbuliro whose theft charge is K3 million, Wides Machika Mbuliro (K0.5 million), Tapiwa Ng’oma (K9.1 million) and Khumbo Banda (K2.7 million).
During an earlier hearing, the court learnt that subsequent revelations of the plunder of public resources in 2013 dubbed Cashgate was an upgrade of the theft of public money by the suspects from 2011.