Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

CCTV tapes ‘show’ Banda meeting Cashgate suspect

The Malawi government claims it has CCTV footage of former president Joyce Banda’s 23 meetings with chief Cashgate suspect, Oswald Lutepo, and other senior People’s Party (PP) members at four different state residences in the country.

Banda is the founder and president of the People’s Party.

Malawi is investigating the disappearance of $48-million during Banda’s presidency, from 2012 to 2014, and $214-million during the rule of former president Bingu wa Mutharika, from 2004 to 2012.

Minister of Information Kondwani Nankhumwa claimed during a news conference in the capital, Lilongwe, on Thursday that the government has since handed over the footage to the country’s corruption-busting body, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), for forensic examination and further action.

He said the government also handed over documents that prove that Lutepo booked and attended the meetings with Banda between December 2012 and September 2013.

Banda, through her personal assistant, Andekuche Chanthunya, said the government’s claim about the CCTV footage is a desperate attempt to divert people’s attention away from the worsening economic situation.

He said the Malawi government is determined to implicate Banda in the scam through various means.

“It’s not strange that Lutepo and other senior PP members had meetings with Banda because Lutepo was an executive member of the party,” Chanthunya said.

Banda was the ‘mastermind’
Last week Lutepo, who is accused of having been fraudulently paid $6.2-million through his companies International Procurement Services and OG Construction, went on radio to say that, although he had swindled the state, he had personally delivered cash to Banda during her term as president. He says she was the mastermind behind the fraud.

“The alleged Cashgate master minders [sic] used my account as a conduit. I have been to State House several times to deliver the money,” Lutepo said, adding that if the CCTV footage did exist it would prove his allegations.

Banda said Lutepo and many others were under pressure from state agents to implicate her.

‘Citizens must know who stole the money’
Meanwhile, the Anti-Corruption Bureau has said it was not aware of the CCTV footage or the documents referred to by Nankhumwa at the press conference.

“I have asked the ACB director and investigators handling Cashgate cases, but no one is aware of the alleged footage or documents,” the bureau’s deputy director, Reyneck Matemba, told the online NyasaTimes.

At the Lilongwe press conference, Nankhumwa failed to disclose the names of the senior PP members who accompanied Lutepo to the meetings with Banda or to show the media the copies of the CCTV footage and log books.

“We have no intention to influence the ongoing Cashgate cases, but we would like our law-enforcing agencies to do their work independently and without fear or favour,” he said.

Nankhumwa, who is also the Malawi government spokesperson, said the state’s role in the Cashgate cases is to facilitate access to information for the citizenry “so that they know who actually stole their money”.

Several State House sources, who did not want to be named for fear of losing their jobs, confirmed to NyasaTimes that, with the exception of Kamuzu Palace, the CCTV cameras at other state houses where the meetings between Banda and Lutepo were said to have taken place had stopped working six years ago.

Subscribe to the M&G

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them.

Collins Mtika
Collins Mtika works from Mzuzu, Malawi. COLLINS MTIKA is a Malawian investigative journalist. He is the Malawi Correspondent for RSA based pan African weekly newspaper called the African Independent. Collins Mtika has over 110 followers on Twitter.

Related stories


Subscribers only

GDP, recession, JSE, rallying rand … these terms mean very...

The economy is not producing work, with many young adults working outside their fields of study or considering leaving the country as a result

More top stories

Europe, Asia rob West Africa of fish

Greenpeace Africa reports that the fishmeal and fish oil industry is ‘robbing the Gambia, Mauritania and Senegal of livelihoods and food’

Covid jab tech helps fight malaria

An estimated two-thirds of malaria deaths are among children under the age of five, most of them in Africa.

Learners moving to other provinces puts education departments under pressure

Gauteng and the Western Cape struggle to put children in class, but Limpopo and the Eastern Cape are closing schools as enrolment plummets

New membership system encounters problems in ANC branches

The Lower South Coast region has complained of a plot by some branch secretaries to manipulate the system

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…