Karonga arriving at court

Karonga arriving at court

LILONGWE (Malawi NewsNow ) —Mr Leonard Kalonga, suspect in cashgate scandal, has pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiracy to defraud government, facilitating money laundering and offence of money laundering which he committed while working as Assistant Director of Tourism.

Judge Fiona Mwale presiding the case at Lilongwe High Court has since convicted him.

However, Mr Kalonga, who entered his plea  on Wednesday,has also implicated former president Mrs Joyce Banda and former budget director, Mr Paul Mphwiyo.

Mr Kalonga told the court that Mr Mphwiyo told him (Kalonga) and others that JB said the money was going to be used for campaign.

In another instance, Mr Kalonga narrated that convicted businessperson Mr Oswald Lutepo, while talking with Mrs Banda on the phone, Lutepo assured JB that they were going to find money for campaign.

Kalonga told the court that the phone was in such a way that he could hear the conversation between Joyce Banda and Lutepo.

Banda is on self exile in South Africa and her husband, retired chief justice Richard Banda is asking international community to intervene in “repeated political harassment and persecution” of his wife,), by the Professor Peter Mutharika administration.

In a letter dated May 13 2015, the former chief justice says the family is convinced that “the many unsubstantiated accusations and allegations” could be a precursor to much more sinister motives.

“We are convinced that the ill-treatment that Her Excellency Dr Joyce Banda is suffering at the hands of the DPP government and the many unsubstantiated accusations and allegations by the government against the former president could be a precursor to much more sinister motives. Lives could be at stake here!”