Anti-Corruption Burea (ACB) deputy director Reyneck Matemba has confirmed that the State wants to confscicate the property and other assets belonging to imprisoned ‘chief cashgater’ Oswald Lutepo.

Matemba said they will seek a determination from High Court on pecuniary penalties to be meted out on Lutepo.

The jailed businessperson-cum-politician risks losing assets of his companies, among them, International Procurement Services, O and G Construction Limited, Woget Cotton Ginning which is undergoing bankruptcy proceedings and Naming’omba Tea Estates.

The 37-year-old Lutepo was slapped with the 11-year jail term which Justice Redon Kapindu passed at the High Court in Zomba on Friday.

On the first count of conspiracy to defraud government of K4.2 billion (US$9.3 million) between April and September 2013, Lutepo was slapped with the maximum sentence of three years imprisonment with hard labour (IHL) while money laundering earned him eight years IHL.

The cashgate prisoner said he is ready to testify in other Cashgate cases if the State expressed interest to have him as witness.

Lutepo has become the seventh person to be thrown in jail on Cashgate-related charges since trials began in February 2014 and his sentence is so far the most severe, 11 years.

The shooting of former Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo outside the gate of his Area 43 residence in Lilongwe on September 13 2013 opened a can of worms that exposed the plunder of public resources at Capital Hill later called Cashgate.

British forensic audit firm, Baker Tilly, established that between April and September 2013, about K24 billion (US$53.3 million) in public funds was abused through payments for goods and services not rendered; inflated payments and payments without supporting documentation.

 

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