The State Prosecutor has asked Zomba High Court Judge Redson Kapindu to melt a stiffer punishment on Chief Cashgate convict Oswald Lutepo, saying suspended sentence on him will be a mockery to taxpayers in the country.

Lutepo was convicted on his own plea of guilty on charges of conspiracy to defraud government and money laundering of K4.2 billion ($9.3 million) between April and September 2013.

The case resumed on Monday afternoon, Lutepo’s lawyer Oswald Mtupila asked Judge Kapindu for leniency, saying his client did not waste court time.
He asked the court to consider giving Lutepo a maximum of 12 months imprisonment with a suspended sentence.

Reacting to the development, Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Director Reyneck Matemba trashed the claims, saying giving Lutepo 12 month’s imprisonment and a suspended sentence will be an insult to Malawians.

Matemba said in view of the amount of money involved and the seriousness of the offence, a suspended sentence would be a mockery.

“Malawians are suffering because of cashgate, donors are no longer funding our national budget thanks to cashgate which Lutepo took part in. He was rich and comfortable but wanted to reap where he did not sow. He should have known in the first place that crime doesn’t pay.” said Matemba.

Meanwhile Kapindu has adjourned the case to Friday where he is expected to deliver his ruling on the matter.

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