The High Court in Lilongwe has jailed contractor Godfrey Dzanjalimodzi to eight years for theft and money laundering K338million in connection with the cashgate scandal.
He had deposited into WG Construction, a company he co-owned, a cheque worth K18,672,508.80 on 30th April, 2013, K24,236,430.80 on 29th June 2013, K91,568,744.10 on 21st August 2013, K54,777,862.80 on 08th August,2013, K88,999,802.14 on 11th August 2013 and the last cheque he deposited was worth K78,654,259.65 on 23rd August 2013. He would then transfer the money into his personal account.
During court proceedings of the case, the State proved that Dzanjalimodzi was the only one who had the password to the electronic banking facility of the company’s account and did not entertain questions from fellow directors when they queried the unusual movements in the account.
Judge Ivy Kamanga, presiding over the case, had found Dzanjalimodzi guilty in January this year of both charges.
She added: “Going by his conduct with fellow directors, he was a willing participant in defrauding government. I am satisfied that WG Construction account was used to steal government money as appearing in the charge sheet and I find the accused guilty as charged.”
On the charge of money laundering, Kamanga said the act of banking the cheques in the company’s dormant bank account then transferring them into his personal account was an act of money laundering.
Justice Kamanga sentenced Dzanjalimodzi to serve to three years in prison for theft and five years for money laundering, to run consecutively, bringing the sentence to 8 years. He left the court crying uncontrollably.
He joins the list of other politicians, businesspersons and civil servants to be convicted and jailed on various charges related to the cashgate scandal.
Former Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Treza Namathanga Senzani (died in December last year) became the first convict sentenced out of the more than 50 people arrested in connection with the fracas.
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 been found guilty of being found in possession of unexplained cash amounting to K112 million , $31 800 (about K13.6 million) and R122 400 (about K4.5 million) suspected to have been stolen from the public coffer.
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.
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.