Minister of Information who is also senior DPP official Nicholas Dausi and the ruling party Treasurer General Henry Mussa have distanced the party from the claims former Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development George Chaponda made in that thousands of foreign currencies including US dollars and millions of Kwachas found by Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) stashed inside suitcases hidden in his bedroom during a search, belongs to the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
Chaponda told ACB that the money found in his house was sourced from a Blue Night fundraising event of DPP But party treasurer general categorically stated that the claim as made by Chaponda was false.
Testifying before Zomba Magistrate Court, prosecution third witness Robert Mbuzi Mkandawire, senior investigations officer for the ACB, who searched Chaponda’s residence in Lilongwe where they found money in various currencies, said they were told by Chaponda that the money was sourced from a Blue Night function which the DPP held in Blantyre.
Mkandawire stated that when the graft-busting body inquired from DPP treasurer-general Henry Mussa, also Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism and Nicholas Dausi, a senior DPP member and Minister of Information and Communications Technology, about the issue, they both denied that the money was sourced from the said event.
Between US$58,000 and MK124 million in cash was found after a search at Chaponda’s home last year.
The cash stashed in suitcases reminds Malawians of the biggest corruption scandal called ‘Cashgate’ scam which involved fraudulent government payments for services not rendered and for “ghost pensions” to fictional government retirees.
Corrupt officials pocketed the money, using it to buy smart cars and mansions — or simply stuffed bundles of US dollars and Malawi kwacha in car boots, handbags and pillowcases, hence the “cash” in “Cashgate.
Chaponda is answering three charges which include giving false information to ACB, influencing a public officer to misuse his position and possession of foreign currency. He has constantly denied any wrong doing.
He was arrested by ACB in July last year on suspicion of corruption relating to procurement of the K26 billion maize from Zambia.
Meanwhile, Zomba chief resident magistrate (CRM) Paul Chiotcha adjourned the matter to February 8 2018 for the State, through ACB, to parade more witnesses.