The man who started Cashgate arrested

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Most Malawians may never have heard about Steve Likhunya Phiri but he is the person who ignited the public theft of resources whose consequences have hit every citizen now.

According to Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Mary Kachale, Phiri served as a civil servant and he used his wits to break through the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS), a move that saw civil servants in various ministries and departments plunder money for fun.

It has emerged that Phiri, an Information Technology (IT) expert at the government offices, convinced others on the IFMIS functionality before he bypassed its strength to the good of the other workers who stole billions of Kwacha under the scandal which has led to donors cutting aid to Malawi.

Mary Kachale

Kachale applied to court that Phiri joins other accused.

It is, however, not known as to how much money Phiri might have also stolen but he is answering charges related to the masterminding of the whole scandal.

“For IFMIS to be breached it needed people with advanced background in IT or computers and IFMIS knowledge and our allegation is that Phiri was that background person who assisted in the breach and manipulation.”

“We are ready with witnesses, who will bring substantial evidence. He played an umbrella role-higher up there. There are things that the people [who plundered] could not have done without his expertise. That is why he is being joined to the case,” Kachale is told a local paper this week.

Media reports suggest that the suspect will be together with over ten others including former budget director Paul Mphwiyo, who are answering multiple counts of defrauding government of K2.4 billion in 2013. The charges include holding property belonging to government, fraud, conspiracy to defraud government, theft, money laundering and abuse of public office. Mphwiyo was nabbed together with three accused persons: Roosevelt Ndovi, Auzius Kazombo Mwale and Clemence Madzi.

The list of the other accused persons include contractors and some civil servants who signed for the cheques such as former Accountant General David Kandoje, who allegedly signed a total of eight cheques, Ndovi and Madzi who allegedly signed 24 cheques, as well as Kazombo Mwale who allegedly signed 16 cheques.

In the application, Kachale explained to the court that investigating officers’ accounts as well as caution statements of suspects, Samuel Mzanda and Michael Mpatsa, show that the IT expert had a hand in the breach of IFMIS.

Paul Mphwiyo

Paul Mphwiyo: Will be joined by Phiri.

Phiri’s lawyer Shadreck Mhango told the court that his client was incarcerated and said he needed to first discuss with him on the application by the state before raising objections.

But Judge Esmie Chombo said that in the interest of justice as well as essence of time, Mhango should be given one hour to confer with his client, who at the time was said to be on his way to the court.

The case which also involves Stafford Mpoola, Maxwell Namata, George Banda, Patrick Chilalika, Sympathy Chisale, Fatch Chungano, Lumumba Karim, Stanley Mtambo, Cecilia Mervis Ng’ambi, Gerald Magaleta Phiri and Ndaona Satema has since been adjourned to February 24, 2016. Over 70 people have been arrested for taking part in the scandal.

So far, Esnart Ndovi, Osward Lutepo, Treza Senzani, Maxwell Namata, Wyson Zinyemba Soko, Victor Sithole and Luke Kasamba are all in jail on miscellaneous cases involving the plunder of public resources which forced donors to withhold aid to Malawi.

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132 Comments

  1. Athu ndiye akupitisidwa kukhoti koma zilango zimene zikupelekedwa ndi zakukana nsalu yakulu nkuviyika.Pofunikanso ACB yafufuzenso majaji amene aweluza milandu ya kubedwa kwa ndalama mboma.Zikukhala ngati nawonso ananyambita nawo. A malawi sitikukhutira ndi zilango zomwe akupereka.

  2. I think there was nothing wrong to discover beautiful places In Africa and tell fellow whites at home. But it was wrong to use Africans to develop America. Nobody said that Christopher Columbus was wrong to discover West Indies and Mungo Park et tal for their discoveries in Africa. This man is never mentioned in any case as a thief. By the way, what do you want to achieve? How long have you been singing “cashgate” song? Its high time it called, “GET CASH “through cashgate cases.

  3. I think there was nothing wrong to discover beautiful places In Africa and tell fellow whites at home. But it was wrong to use Africans to develop America. Nobody said that Christopher Columbus was wrong to discover West Indies and Mungo Park et tal for their discoveries in Africa. This man is never mentioned in any case as a thief. By the way, what do you want to achieve? How long have you been singing “cashgate” song? Its high time it called, “GET CASH “through cashgate cases.

  4. So it’s true when elders says; “After Death, Comes The Doctor”, .As far as I’m concerned this issue doesn’t hold any water….!!!

  5. the big fish is caught indeed as u say but what about the remaing sea monsters..crocodilz ,octopus en hippoz r u nt goin to arrest them?

  6. zowonadi mwatidziwitsadi kuti mwamugwila koma monsemuja mumamanga enawa am,mambuo iyeo analikuti osam,manga.ndie panomuzitiwuza kuti mwamanga amene anayambitsa nangamwamupeza alindindalamazochuluka bwanji? mvutoso lainu a police mumafulumila kukamba komakutimunenekuti tamugwila ali ndindalama mwakuti simunenena ai komaso tikamapanga macomment akhani yomwe mwapanga post or kukufusani ndichifukwa chiyani simumatiankha mumangodziwa kungo poster nkhani koma kuyankha ayi inu ndie mbala zikuluzikulu apa mbamva zagwilana muzingo patsana ma plan wobela.( plan yatheka patsala plan tienazoni).

  7. I wil always consider cashgate issues useless until the culprits of 577 billion and 92 billion are brought to book. Even APM said his brother stole billions, where was he by then? Enawa ndi ana, mbava zenizeni ziri ndimaudindo muchipani cha DPP pano, nde sizingagwidwe.

  8. Tingodikiranthawi yimenemulungu azatilandise mumanja a inu mbava ngati mumene analandisira Ana a Israeli mumavuto.Chifukwa apo tingoti mbava zagwirana osati mwagwirambava.Ife amalawi takhala tikuberedwa modesankhawa chiyambireni multiparty azisogoleli onse tinangosankha mbava zokhazokha .Choti muziwe nchakuti Mulungu siwakhungu kuti mungayese kuti sakukuwonani.Tikamanena zausatanic ndi anthu amenesachita chifuniro Cha Mullungu

  9. aaaaaaaaah!!! malawi we need 2 revenge them coz we r blamed by other countries interms of financial crisis challenge. malawi called the poorest in whole africa bcoz of them. so they must b persecuted heavily so that others can get lessons. without punishment person can not know his or her weakness.

  10. Kodi guyz ine ndifunseko Anthu amenewa akubawa awagwiradi,Nanga akawagwiramo Bwanji samatiuza kuti awalanda ndalama zochuluka chonchi yet ndimangomva kuti tawamanga koma koma osanenapo zandalama awalandazo?,That means the whole Malawi police angokumana mbala zokhazokha,

  11. steve phiri??? cant believe it. was a quite cafe prefect and hostel mate at lunzu secondary. then a humble mumba hall resident com science major. cant believe it.

  12. I thought government was just quite for the cash gate scandal I was wondering why this man was left behind.

  13. YOU EVEN KNOW THE GUY WHO STARTED CASHGATE BUT YOUR FAILING TO ARREST HIM AND CONFISCATE HIS PROPERTY AND SELL THEM THEN LATER YOU WILL BE ASKING DONORS TO GIVE AID WHICH USELESS DONORS WILL DO THAT YOU GOT ENOUGH MONEY FROM CASHGATERS TO RUN THE COUNTRY

  14. Ambuye takhala usiku osenseu osakola nsomba olo imodzi ndiye mukuti ndiponyele kwakuya, chabwino poti mwatelo ndipanga. Osaonetsa kutopa ukonde uphulika alipo ambiri 70 ndipoyambira, hehehe odi uko tiponye ukonde tigwire big fish

  15. Bola ziwoneke mapeto ake. Selfish individuals that deserve nothing but hell. Poor Malawians are experiencing hell on earth because of these idiots’ greed & selfishness.

  16. “Anakhalapo civil servant”,nkhani ikutero.I guess nthawi imeneyo Bingu akulamulira iye anali CS.Mmene amabwera JB iye anali atapuma ntchito.Uwu ndiumboni woti cashgate anayambisa ndiBingu ndi DPP.

  17. Kodi ndalama zomwe mukumawalanda anthu amenewa zikumapita kuti? Zikanakhala bwino kuti ndalamazo muzizisunga pamodzi, kenaka muzamangire chipatala. Tikamadzaona ubwino wa chipatalacho ambili adzazindikira kuti kuba chuma cha boma sikwabwino.

  18. Katakwe obele boma(our taxes sob sob sob),this man can’t be alone,go deep and find the rest,I want all of them and I want them now.ACB mkungodya ndalama zaurere basi osagwira tchito yolozeka,I said everyone no matter what position in government is.

  19. Tsono oyambitsayo mwammanga mochedwa ka ndalama wabisabisa apa mukanayambira iyeyu zikanathandiza atleast u cud ve recovered some of the money….mulungu awakanthe kobasi anthu amenewa akuvitikitsa amalawi

  20. Kkkkkkkkkkkk ngat wayamba kupha misepa dziwa kut ku unako kuli mbewa zambili zazikulu limbikira kukumba upha zambili.kkkkkkk eeee amapanga ignite boma.paka Exclusive kkkkkkkkkkest

  21. Ifenso ndi mbava koma na ameneyi akaolere ku ndende basi.ndiamena akuvutisa chipani chathu cha dpp kulamulira movutika zedi.

  22. Nangati ka dziko ka Malawi kakusaukilabe momvetsa chisoni chifukwa cha anthu ake ngati amenewa. Ndi momwe chithandizo chimafikira ndi ndalamanso zomwe dziko lino limatolelela, kukanakhala kotheka wina aliyense kapena anthu ochuluka ali otukuka kuposanso zambia. Tangoganizani tili ndi maboma osakwana 30 koma mabillion chilandililenicho koma anthu ndikumavutika.

  23. mmmm mh…we a nw called da poorest people bcoz of u………..we dnt av cash bcz of u….. Shame on youuu… We a starving bcoz of you……patients in da hospa a dieyng cifukwa cosowa mankhwala.. . Indeed u a son of serpent pamodzii ndi mbava zinazoooo..

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