First conviction in Malawi's 'Cashgate' scandal

Blantyre - A Malawi court has made the first conviction of a senior official in the so-called "Cashgate" scandal that led to the suspension of foreign aid and helped push a government from power.

Top tourism ministry official Treza Namathanga Senzani pleaded guilty to stealing around $150 000 from state coffers, part of a broader swindle worth at least $30m.

She was convicted by on Thursday and will be sentenced on 15 September.

Senzani was arrested last year after a probe found she issued two government cheques to her own company even though it did not provide any services.

She was one of dozens of civil servants charged with money laundering and theft.

A report by British auditors commissioned by former president Joyce Banda showed that at least $30m had been stolen from the government over a six-month period last year.

The scandal had prompted foreign donors - who provide around 40% of Malawi's budget - to pull the plug on aid of around $150m.

The Cashgate scheme is the biggest financial scandal in Malawi's history, and was an albatross around Banda's neck during elections in May which she lost.

Banda has been linked to Cashgate by political opponents, but has strenuously denied any involvement.

Bruce Hall 2014-08-30 07:59:09 AM
Chicken feed compared to our government.
Michael Ndalama Mwale 2014-08-30 08:38:12 AM
It takes an evil-hearted person to seek to live a luxurious life by stealing from the poor who live from hand to mouth. If humanity could cleanse itself of such people, poverty would not be growing at the current rates.
Nobantu Mbude 2014-08-30 08:44:41 AM
This is what happens when opposition parties make the ruling party account
Nonkululeko Dlomo 2014-08-30 09:36:32 AM
It's so sad how we humans are. Generation after generation we don't learn
John N Duncan 2014-08-30 12:01:03 PM
Another attempt at zumalisation. With apologies to the Lesotho commentor.