The Anti-Corruption Bureau on Monday arrested former Malawi Defence Force (MDF) General Henry Odillo and Lieutenant General Clement T. Kafuwa over suspected fraudulent payments suspected to be part of Capital Hill Cashgate.
The two were arrested in relation to payments that were made to Thuso investments without supplying services to the Malawi army.
According to a statement by ACB, this follows an establishment that Malawi Army paid K1 921 billion to Thuso Investments for the supply of blank ammunition which was never delivered.
ACB deputy director general Reyneck Matemba said Thuso had valid contracts with MDF prior to 2013, but the graft-busting agency found that there was no evidence of a K900 million contract to supply blank bullets.
In a statement made available to Nyasa Times, ACB senior public relations officer Egrita Ndala, said the two will face three charges including one of abuse of public office contrary to Section 25B(1) of the Corrupt Practices Act.
Other charges will be of negligence by public officer in preserving money or any other property contrary to Section 284(1) of the Penal Code and Money Laundering contrary to Section 35(1) (d) of the Money Laundering, Proceeds of Serious Crimes and Terrorist Financing Act.
They will be taken to Court after the Bureau has recorded statements from them.
Odillo and Kafuwa were apparently signatories of several cheques, including K3 billion to International Procurement Services (IPS) owned by businessperson Osward Lutepo—who is also answering money laundering charges – and K1.5 billion to Thuso co-owned by Kauwa and Alexander Banda, according to information sourced from ACB.
Former MDF lieutenant colonel Nelson Kauwa whose company, Thuso Investments Group, was linked to alleged dubious contracts at MDF was arrested in January.
The September 2014 forensic audit report by British firm Baker Tilly found that close to K18 billion of the K24 billion plundered between April and September 2013 was channelled through MDF.
The “cashgate” issue came to light in September 2013 after the attempted assassination of the finance ministry’s budget director Paul Mphwiyo.
Just days before, a junior civil servant was allegedly found with more than $300 000 in cash in the boot of his car.
More cash was confiscated from some civil servants’ homes and car boots.
Malawi’s donors then withheld $150 million pending further investigation into the scandal. – Nyasa Times.