Former Malawi Budget Director Paul Mphwiyo who Joyce Banda said was shot for fighting corruption has been arrested allegedly for stealing over K3 billion of public funds.
The arrest is connected to the cashgate scandal and follows shocking revelations made by Leonard Kalonga that Mphwiyo was the architect who schemed the plan to steal over K3.7 billion of public funds from his ministry.
Kalonga stated in his affidavit that together with Paul Mphwiyo, they siphoned the money from the ministry on behalf of the then President, Mrs. Joyce Banda to finance her presidential campaign.
“It was clear later that, at the behest of Mr. Paul Mphwiyo, the connection and my involvement therein was respectively about and in return for assisting in ‘generating’ revenue for the ruling party. He always said that the money was going to State House. There was a time when he left me in his office and said he had to rush to State House on the funds matter” reads part of a statement purportedly issued by Kalonga to the prosecutors.
Kalonga claimed in his affidavit that much as he did not deal directly with the then Head of State, Joyce Banda, he was informed by Paul Mphwiyo that the money he collected was delivered to State House and all those who were involved in the cashgate scheme were aware of this arrangement.
Kalonga said he was instructed by Paul Mphwiyo to recruti Angella Katengeza whose company, Faith Construction, was used to siphon the money from the ministry.
Stanford Mpoola and Oswald Lutepo had separately also alleged that Mrs. Banda used them as conduit through Paul Mphwiyo as the intermediary.
“There was a time when Lutepo claimed to be talking to the Head of State [Joyce Banda], on speaker phone, so I could only hear him assuring her about bringing more money for the campaign” said Kalonga who also revealed one of the convicted cashgate criminals, Tressa Namathanga Senzani, met Joyce Banda to seek assurance that they would not be arrested when the cashgate scandal became public.
“We were told not to tell the truth about what had been going on because the ‘authorities’ would protect us. After the President’s return from an international trip [when she alleged that she knew who had shot Paul Mphwiyo], Senzani went to meet her at Sanjika, to seek guidance. Senzani personally told us at MOT [Ministry of Tourism] of the President’s protection, that it would be taken care of, probably by stopping the investigating agencies dealing with us”.
Following Kalonga’s revelations, Malawi Director of Public Prosecution, Mary Kachale told the High Court that Paul Mphwiyo was a key puzzle to the looting.
It was an attempt on Paul Mphwiyo’s life on 13 September 2013 that led to the discovery of the cashgate scandal. Soon after the shooting, Joyce Banda said at the 9th Ijtima meeting on the 14th of September, in Lunzu, Blantyre that she knew the suspected assailants.
She has maintained ever since that the then National Budget Director was targeted for his fight against high levels of fraud in government.