Government struggling to seize cashgate property

December 21, 2013 • Front Page, National News • Written by :

Impounded: Bophani stands by some of the seized vehicles

Impounded: Bophani stands by some of the seized vehicles

Although some progress has been made, government is struggling to get its hands on some property suspected to have been obtained using spoils from the looting of public funds at Capital Hill, officials have said.

Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Bruno Kalemba recently obtained several warrants from the courts to seize cashgate assets and said the warrants were handed to police for execution.

However, Minister of Justice Fahad Assani on Tuesday said government is finding it difficult to confiscate some of the cashgate property, especially movable assets, although some houses, flats and office buildings belonging to people connected to the massive theft of public funds at Capital Hill have been seized.

“On seizure of the houses, we are not moving out the people from the houses immediately because if we do that, the houses may be vandalised. Those houses will be subject to complete seizure at the time of getting conviction from the court,” said Assani.

“We must admit that it is proving difficult to get some of the assets, especially vehicles. Some of the people have succeeded in hiding their assets

“When they hear that our investigators are following up on the assets in the places where they have hidden them, the people are also moving the assets from those places and this is making it difficult for us to get the assets,” said Assani.

He appealed for strong support from the public to locate some of the assets the police are hunting to confiscate.

“It’s like people knew immediately we started making the arrests that we were going to seize their assets. Therefore, all they have succeeded to do is to hide some of the assets.

“This is where Malawians need to show their patriotism now by coming forth to authorities with information about where the people are hiding their vehicles,” said Assani.

He, however, said government has succeeded to stop change of ownership for some of the vehicles suspected to be connected to cashgate at the Road Traffic Directorate (RTD).

“What has succeeded most is that the Road Traffic Directorate is not allowing disposal of such vehicles because they are checking with the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and other authorities on applications for change of ownership of the vehicles,” said Assani.

This was corroborated by police in Lilongwe who have for the past weeks seized over 14 vehicles believed to have been acquired as a result of the looting at Capital Hill.

Speaking during a media briefing in Lilongwe this week Deputy Inspector General of Police Nelson Bophani said the vehicles have been recovered through their Police CID officers.

“We believe the vehicles impounded are those which were bought through cashgate, I cannot disclose the names of the people involved, but they are under our custody,” he said.

Among the vehicles, three Scania busses, one range rover, a Mercedes- Benz and the latest Toyota Corolla, belong former chief tourism officer Leonard Kalonga who was charged and released on bail in connection with theft and money laundering for allegedly defrauding government of K84 million (US$204 878) through dubious means.

“When we seized the first busses, we were told that the second fleet was coming so when it arrived we were told. As for the other vehicles, we used our channels, while some vehicles were apprehended at neighbouring houses,” Bophani said.

Prior to the shooting of Ministry of Finance former budget director Paul Mphwiyo, police had arrested civil servant Patrick Sithole after finding him with K120 million (US$292 689).

Among others, police also arrested civil servant Martha Banda whom they found with K7.8 million (US$19 024) at her home in Lilongwe.

Police have also retrieved $184 000 (about K75 million) in cash from a safe box at First Merchant Bank (FMB) belonging to attempted murder suspect in the Mphwiyo shooting case, Pika Manondo.

They also recently impounded four of the cashgate six buses for which the Tourism Ministry paid K520 million through a cheque co-signed by arrested principal accountant to government Roosevelt Ndovie.

Ndovie was also earlier arrested after police found him with K3 million cash in his car boot and $25 000 (about K10 million) at his house.

  • Guest

    Tipatseni list yonse ya magalimoto omwe mukufuna tikupezereni ife, @5% chiona maso.

  • CHOSAMVA MAKUTUMYENDO

    Government knows well where the assets for cash-gate are. Asking the public for help is a smear campaign. Patriotism need to start with people in authority if things are to work

  • GaluMtsukwa

    Koma ndiye abale. Thats what happens when you deliberately single out some suspects while protecting others. The onus is normally on suspects to prove how they got what they have. We have read about Filisa having millions if not billions (of cash and assets) that he can definitely not prove how he got them. Akuti commission for a job well done for mbamva ina yake. Koma Malawi ndiyetu wafikapo.

  • Eutopia

    Why not arrest the asset holders and imprison them until the assets are handed over?

  • A

    These people are simply taking advantage of our docility. Which people and asserts are you looking for? How are we going to contact authorities? Any number that people can call? How many adverts are flying on MBC (TV and Radio) to that effect? Ine zautsiru ayi!!!!

  • https://www.yahoo.com Mido

    The Maravi Post BREAKING NEWS TO BREAK HEARTS. We have seen a dangerous dossier
    which is having information on the
    clandestine activities that President
    Joyce Banda and her mercenaries were
    into in connection to the looting of
    billions of kwacha as well as wasting tax payers money on the back of well
    wishers. Our independent investigations have
    also established that its really very
    true that Osward Lutepo -a former
    Deputy Director for the ruling peoples
    Part who was used to loot billions of
    kwacha from the government coffers and the son to the president Banda-
    Roy Kachale set fire to ESCOM to
    destroy evidence on their dealing with
    the corporation.We have full details. In addition to that,we have details
    that Joyce Banda gave Mr.Hannington
    Gondwe whose mother served as a
    Minister in the kamuzu era and used to
    reside in Sunny Side the sum of £8000
    to buy a bus and look like PP wing in London donated it.Gondwe who
    married a Tanzanian lady and has
    three kids with her stays in Manchester
    and he has recently been in the
    country for 3 times for meetings with
    senior Peoples Party Officials (refer to the attached image).The bus was
    successfully bought and painted in
    Manchester and later sent to Malawi.
    Hannington Gondwe is the chairman of
    PP wing in Manchester and he
    presented the bus bought with our tax money from the Cash gate loot to
    peoples party as if it was their
    Manchester wing which bought it. Be there as we unpack the full story
    and share the contents of the dossier
    with you to see how corrupt Joyce
    Banda and Peoples party are.

  • Rhatho s.thaundi

    We are very happy for this golden opportunities on cash gate Malawi had no chance to go on top of ladder of economy because there are some leaders that use the politics as away to have awealth not work on beharf of rular people.

  • Kingster Bella

    You need help from people yet your are corrupt. You serve corrupt politicians instead of serving the nation. You arrest selectively because you want to serve your masters. You think people are so ignorant, can’t see. In the disguise of patriotism you wear sheep clothings yet your wolfs, helping corrupt politicians destroy the country.
    Let’s wait, you will be exposed one day. Don’t hide behind patriotism while your not patriotic yourself. People will not cooperation with corrupt police until you change your image. Don’t ask help from people till you conduct professionally, stop shielding politicians & those close to politicians..

  • Guzasuzgo

    how can we contact the police for a tip then? The Deputy Inspector fail short of that detail

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