7 October 2016 Last updated at: 6:54 AM

‘ A short walk to freedom’ : Malawi cashgate convict Senzani now out of prison

She walked smiling to her home in Lilongwe yesterday having had her three year jail term cut short because of  showing a ‘good character’; that is a brief story of former Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Treza Namathanga Senzani who actually was meant to be out of Maula Prison next year.

Initially Malawi24 had reported that Senzani, who was in 2014 sentenced to three years and nine months imprisonment on offences of money laundering and theft respectively had been touted by by prison officers for showing good characters behind bars.

She had  pleaded guilty to stealing around $150,000 (63 million kwacha) from state coffers, part of a broader swindle worth at least $30 million and was convicted on her own guilty plea.

Treza Namathanga Senzani

Treza Namathanga Senzani now free’.

Her jail term was meant to end October 6, 2017.

She became the first convict sentenced out of the more than 50 people arrested in connection with the fracas.

The scandal saw donors withdrawing their support to Malawi amid similar revelations – this time led by civil servants where billions of kwachas went uncounted for in a scandal better known as Cashgate.

Senzani was apprehended in 2013 having issued two Cheques to her own company, which according to police never had the provision of goods or services to the government.

Other convicts, former Assistant Accountant in the government Victor Sithole later joined her on the list. Sithole was jailed for nine years having being found guilty of of being found in possession of unexplained cash suspected to have been stolen amounting to K112 million , $31 800 (about K13.6 million) and R122 400 (about K4.5 million) in hard cash which was found at his house in Area 47 in September 2013.

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Deputy Director of Youth Wyson Zinyemba Soko was then sent to prison for seven years. Soko was found in possession of MK40.9 million ($90 000), attained in corrupt ways.

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