LILONGWE-(MaraviPost) – President Peter Mutharika this week pardoned Cashgate convict Esnart Ndovi seven months before completing her sentence.
Ndovi is among the 378 inmates whom President Mutharika pardoned as part of Malawi’s 53rd Independence Celebrations.
This is an annual independence prerogative that empowers the head of state to pardon inmates, particularly those that have served three quarters of their sentences, and have a clean record while in prison.
In November 2015, Ndovi was convicted of charges of tendering a certificate for personation and money laundering involving MK12.9 million.
She is one of the 47 prisoners pardoned at Maula prison, and was released on Wednesday. Her release date was supposed to be in February 2018.
Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu, defended President Mutharika’s decision to pardon Ndovi on health grounds.
Tembenu said that it was not the intention of Government to pardon prisoners with serious offenses as Ndovi’s.
The Minister said that when President pardons prisoners, there are reasons that are considered; these include years of the sentence, behavior, and health grounds. Whether it not someone is a Cashgate convict, is not a consideration, the Minister said.
“Esnart Ndovi has not been in good health. She’s constantly seeks specialised medical attention.
“Sometimes you consider such factors. And she is not the first one to be considered for pardon on that ground”, said Tembenu.
Ndovi was the fifth person after the late Tressa Senzani, Osward Lutepo, Leonard Kalonga and Khuzo James Bundura Chirwa to plead guilty to cashgate charges.
After pleading guilty, Ndovi surrendered a Toyota Hilux valued at MK15 million, to pay back MK12.9 million she syphoned from the Government account.