The State has withdrawn former Assistant Director of Tourism Leonard Kalonga from the K105.9 million money laundering case he was co-charged with businessperson Angella Katengeza barely a day after pleading guilty to three counts.
On Wednesday, Kalonga pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiracy to defraud government, facilitating money laundering and offence of money laundering.
Filing the withdraw files before High Court Judge Fiona Mwale on Thursday, Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Director Reyneck Matemba said it is an constitutional to continue pegging a charge on Kalonga on the case which he has already pleaded guilty hence the withdraw.
“According to the law, it is unconstitutional to proceed charging any person on an offence he has already been convicted of. In this case, it is the same offence he was being jointly charged with Katengeza. That is why we had to file a new amendment,” said Matemba.
The court is yet to sentence Kalonga.
During his plea on Wednesday, implicated former Budget Director Paul Mphwiyo whose shooting on September 13, 2013 lead to the revelations of massive plunder of public funds dubbed cashgate currently pegged at MK24 billion.
Kalonga said Mphwiyo told him that the money which was being defrauded from government was for campaign of former president Joyce Banda’s People’s Party (PP).
Meanwhile Banda through her spokesperson Andekuche Chanthunya has trashed the claims, branding Kalonga as a ‘blatant lie’.