Sounds like a classical Hollywood movie. In a dramatic turn of events surrounding Malawi’s infamous Cashgate scandal in which Malawi Government and ruling party officials looted billions of public money, the king of thieves, Oswald Lutepo has come forward with new, but suspicious revelations which boarder on favor-hunting from the current administration or hooking public sympathy.
The man, who has all along been portrayed as a successful business tycoon, shocked the impression when he confessed that he is now leaving in abject poverty only months down his hay days.
Lutepo, who can suitably be called a ‘confession-man’ made his first confession in court, earlier on, that implicated Ralph Kasambara as a hit man responsible for the shooting of former Budget Director, Paul Mphwiyo. The incident of which opened the cane of Cashgate worms. He then made another confession, through writing the Attorney General, Kalekeni Kaphale, confessing that the confessions he had made in the court were extracted from him under duress. He alleged that the former Public Prosecutions Director Bruno Kalemba, Former Minister of Justice Fahad Assani and Prosecutor Kamudoni Nyasulu pressurized him to make false statements in which he implicated Ralph Kasambara.
Now, the ‘confession-man’ has made yet another confession, confessing that the Former Head of State was the architect and sole beneficiary of the Cashgate scheme. The confession, portrays the former Head of State as a professional manipulator who can dance in the mud and come out clean. No trace of any stain.
But, surviving the meddled waters which were getting to the neck, Lutepo drains some of it in the direction of the smart architect – Joyce Banda. Eventually, she gets splashed with the mad.
Much as it is rational for the public to find it hard to believe his recent confession as genuine and not a product of yet another scheme (by whosoever) to implicate the former President, a careful pause would allow one to connect the dots.
The public has already started contemplating the move as a calculated ploy by the ‘desperate’ government to hook the former Head of State into the mess, which is oftentimes being used as a justification as to why the current government is failing to make ends meet. The public is, in its right, speculating that there could be more in the pond than just fish and frogs, suggesting that the confession might be influenced by some kind of ‘Treaty’ between Lutepo and Government.
But the following dots are amusing. Connecting them would, probably, align a reasonable judgment to believing this episode as a true cast.
For starters, it was reported, at the time, that Lutepo was re-arrested by Malawi Police at Mchinji Boarder post as he attempted to flee the country. Why was Lutepo fleeing the country when elections results, which clearly showed that Banda had lost, were being released?
How possible would a person, in the name of Oswald Lutepo, beat all the government procurement protocol and force continuous release of millions if not billions of Kwachas from the government system devoid of any service or product delivery? How possible would that be without knowledge or possibly endorsement from the higher authorities?
Do we, by any grace, remember that Lutepo once ‘donated’ a fleet of vehicles to the then ruling PP for its campaign? Had it been not for any ‘cordial’ connections between him and the President Banda, would he have made such ‘donations’? How could he donate such amount of cars to a political party and never been questioned of his motives and probably source of such wealth?
Without wasting Malawians’ time, Oswald Lutepo is a celebrated thief who plundered state resources with blessings of former President Banda. He monopolized state supply tenders where he was paid in advance and in most cases delivered nothing. In astonishing 3 weeks, Lutepo was able to secure an aviation license from the Ministry of Transport to operate a cargo airline. On earth, only Lutepo could achieve that without the hand of the State President.
The whole setup points to systematic massive looting that Banda and her family unleashed on country coffers leaving the nation in further abject poverty. Banda abused her Presidency and afflicted injury on the public coffers. She used thieves like Lutepo to siphon the money to her end. Joyce Banda is the prime evil that ever walked on Malawian soil, since 1964, in as far as plunder of public resources was concerned. Within a space of three years she loots every coin in the State coffers.
Her actions have left the country bleeding while she is in the hide out abroad. For fear of draining their resources, donors have closed their aid capillaries until Malawi finishes its bleeding. Effects are that Malawi’s economy is now anemic. No adequate Forex. In this state of economy expecting the Government to deliver effectively without bruising its people, is like asking a pig to make somersaults, you know it won’t.
Malawi is inherently a very corrupt country. Lutepo will return no single Cent to government. Allowing the public-induced perception to flourish, a study between the lines will render the statement made by Lutepo as a carefully couched disposition aimed at securing his freedom while hunting for public sympathy and privileged State consideration. Ever wondered why State-run broadcasts (both radio and TV) are repeatedly airing the interview? DPP Administration will grant Lutepo state-witness status while pursuing Joyce Banda, her family and loyalists. There is nothing new in this script.
Lutepo is a free man. That is how Malawians get raw deal, get defrauded.