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Malawi Court Sentences Four People in Mzuzu Over Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) Funds

Malawian arrested for Defiliment
Scales of justice in Malawi

On 7th December, 2017, the Anti-Corruption Bureau received a complaint alleging that Mr. Martin Zgambo, Chairperson of Village Grievances Resolution Management Committee (VGRMC) connived with Mr. Herbert Mandala of Snowy and Mountain Engineering Corporation (SMEC Mzuzu office) to defraud Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) funds which were meant for compensation of Project Affected Persons (PAPs) at Sonda in Mzuzu.

The ACB instituted investigations which established that Mr. Martin Zgambo and Mr. Herbert Mandala, had connived to defraud Millennium Challenge Account of K19, 738, 167.00 by presenting land for which compensation was already processed as if it was not paid for. Ms. Eluby Chavula posed as a landowner while Ms. Patricia Tchuwa received MK3,925,298.53 for land which was not hers.

On 31st March 2020 Mzuzu Magistrates Court found the four guilty. Sentencing was done on 29th June 2020 as follows:

Mr. Martin Zgambo and Mr. Herbert Mandala were convicted of:

• Conspiracy to launder money contrary to Section 42(1) (d) of the Financial Crimes Act
• Making false documents contrary to Section 353 of the Penal Code
• Attempted theft contrary to Section 401 as read with Sections 271 and 278 of the Penal Code

They were sentenced to forty-eight months, twenty-four months, and eighteen months imprisonment with hard labour for each of the counts, respectively.

All correspondences to be addressed to the Director quoting our reference numbers

Ms. Patricia Tchuwa who was convicted for Money laundering contrary to Section 42(1) (c) of the Financial Crimes Act, was sentenced to sixty months imprisonment with hard labour. The sentence has been suspended due to the fact that she has a baby who is still breastfeeding.

Ms. Eluby Chavula was convicted for:

• Giving false information to the Bureau contrary to Section 14 (1) (a) of the Corrupt Practices Act

• Attempted theft contrary to Section 401 as read with Section 278 of the Penal Code

She was sentenced to twenty-four months and six months respectively for each of the counts.

The sentences will run concurrently from the date of conviction.

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