Four jailed for stealing Millennium Challenge Account funds

Malawi24.com

Four people have been handed jail terms for defrauding Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) of funds which were meant for compensation of Project Affected Persons (PAPs) at Sonda in Mzuzu.

According to Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Principal Public Relations Officer Egritta Ndala, the four are Martin Zgambo, Herbert Mandala, Eluby Chavula and Patricia Tchuwa.

According to Ndala, on 7th December, 2017, the Anti-Corruption Bureau received a complaint alleging that Zgambo, Chairperson of Village Grievances Resolution Management Committee (VGRMC) connived with Mandala of Snowy and Mountain Engineering Corporation (SMEC Mzuzu office) to defraud Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) funds which were meant for compensation of Project Affected Persons (PAPs) at Sonda in Mzuzu.

The ACB instituted investigations which established that Zgambo and Mandala, had connived to defraud Millennium Challenge Account of K19, 738, 167.00 by presenting land for which compensation was already processed as if it was not paid for.

Chavula posed as a land owner while Tchuwa received MK3,925,298.53 for land which was not hers.

On 31st March, 2020 Mzuzu Magistrates Court found the four guilty

Zgambo and Mandala were convicted of Conspiracy to launder money contrary to Section 42(1) (d) of the Financial Crimes Act, making false documents contrary to Section 353 of the Penal Code and Attempted theft contrary to Section 401 as read with Sections 271 and 278 of the Penal Code.

They were sentenced to forty-eight months, twenty-four months and eighteen months imprisonment with hard labour for each of the counts respectively.

Tchuwa who was convicted for Money laundering contrary to Section 42(1) (c) of the Financial Crimes Act, was sentenced to sixty months imprisonment with hard labour.

However, the sentence has been suspended due to the fact that she has a baby who is still breastfeeding.

Chavula was convicted for giving false information to the Bureau contrary to Section 14 (1) (a) of the Corrupt Practices Act and attempted theft contrary to Section 401 as read with Section 278 of the Penal Code.

She was sentenced to twenty-four months and six months respectively for each of the counts.

The sentences will run concurrently from the date of conviction.

 

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