Businessperson sentenced to 14 years in jail over K56 million cashgate


Former Managing Director of Mahembe Civil Engineering, Philbert Mkandawire, has been sentenced to 14 years in prison for stealing K56, 247, 996.14 from the Malawi Government.

The Lilongwe Chief Resident Magistrate’s Court sentenced the businessperson on Monday this week following his conviction on 22nd October, 2021.

Mkandawire has been sentenced to three years for money laundering, five years for another count of money laundering and six years for theft. The sentences will run consecutively from the date of conviction, meaning Mkandawire will be in prison for 14 years.

The convict was arrested by the Anti-Corruption Bureau on 10th February, 2014 in relation to cashgate investigations.

He was suspected to have obtained K56, 247, 996.14 from Ministry of Water Development and Irrigation for services which were not rendered.

Mkandawire was taken to Lilongwe Magistrate’s Court where he was charged with two counts of money laundering contrary to Section 35(C) of the Money Laundering, Proceeds of Crime and Terrorist Financing Act and one count of theft contrary to Section 278 of the Penal Code.

On 22nd October the Lilongwe Chief Resident Magistrate’s Court found Mkandawire guilty of all the charges and convicted him.

In the cashgate scandal which broke out in 2013, over K2 billion was stolen through payments to businesses that had not provided any services to government. Several businesspersons and public officers were arrested over the theft of public funds.