Former Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo has pleaded not guilty to charges in the K2.4 billion money laundering case in which he isamong the accused.





20161103024459Mphwiyo, alongside other civil servants including former accountantgeneral, David Kandoje, isanswering several charges such as money laundering, theft by public servant and conspiring to defraud government funds amounting to about K2.4 billion.Other suspects  Auzious Kazombo Mwale, Roosevelt Ndovie,  Clement Madzi, convict Maxwell Namata, IT expert of IFMIS Steve Likhunya Phiri and George Banda have also pleaded not guilty to the charges before presiding Judge Esmie Chombo at Lilongwe High Court.Others who pleaded not quulty were Stafford Mpoola, Andrew Chilalika, Sympathy Chisale, Fatch Chungano, Limumba Karim, Stanley Mtambo, Cecilia Mervis Ng’ambi, Gerald Maguleta Phiri and Ndaona SatemaAccording to Judge Chombo, the case is rare for it is involving suspects more than 10, has 19 suspects majority of them are contractors who were used to steal government money using their certificates.



Reading charges y to each suspect almost all but one suspect present in court todaypleaded not guilty to their charges with only Stanley Mtambo who pleaded guilty tothe charge of money laundering the sum of MK 78,649,120.89 under Walusako General Dealers a film which belonged to his wife.



But Mtambo used it after conniving with cashgate convict Lenard Karonga to use his bank accounts one from National Bank and other one from Nedbank.Mtambo has since been convicted at his own plea and his bail has been revoked waiting for his sentence as the state has asked for a delay of his sentence until  thecase of his accomplices  reaches the same stage to sentence them together .Three suspects  have  also reportedly accepted the facts on the charge sheet.Andrews Chilalika, Fatchi Chungano and Sympathy Chisale have all admitted that the former director of tourism,Kalonga, approached them to use their businesses, they hadno contracts with governmentand that government chequeswere deposited into their bankaccounts and the money was withdrawn.However, according to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Mary Kachale, the three are not admitting that the money that was deposited into their bank accounts was stolen or was the proceeds of the crime.The three will enter their plea in the next hearing.The case has since been adjourned to 9th of January 2017 where among others thestate is expected to parade itsfirst witnesses and both the defencce and state has agreed that the case shall run for five days from 9th to 13th January before breaking for February.