Finally: Cashgate ‘architect’granted bail

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The High Court in Malawi capital, Lilongwe has released  Steve Likhunya Phiri, an Information Technology (IT) expert who is accused of starting up the whole plot that saw billions of money stolen at the capital hill, a scandal christened ‘Cashgate’.

Phiri, a government employee is believed to have used his wits to break through the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS).

Presiding judge Esme Chombo granted bail to Likhunya-Phiri on condition that he pays a K1.5 million bond, four sureties of K500 000 each and one house, either his or belonging to a relation.

Mary Kachale

Kachale; Made an initial application.

Initially, State prosecutor Linesi Chikankheni asked the court that Likhunya-Phiri should disclose the source of the bail bond, which they wanted to be at K1 million.

Likhunya-Phiri’s lawyer, Shadreck Mhango, objected to the condition arguing that it would see the state having self-incriminating information.

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.

 

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