Convicted former assistant director responsible for planning and development in the then Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Leonard Kalonga, has said former budget director Paul Mphwiyo confided in him in June 2013 that he was promoted to the position of budget director as a token of appreciation for the “good work” in sourcing funds for the then ruling People’s Party (PP).
In his testimony on day two in the Mphwiyo and 18 others K2.4 billion Cashgate case yesterday, Kalonga told the court that the PP was getting 60 percent of every funding they were illegally sourcing from Treasury and 40 percent was shared among the participating agencies.
Kalonga said when at a Capital Hotel car pack meeting, Mphwiyo shared with him and the then chief accountant in the Ministry of Tourism, George Banda, the news of how he got promoted towards the end of June 2013, they were motivated to do more for the PP.
“It is at this meeting that Mr Mphwiyo told us that he had been appointed director of budget. But it was not yet public. One of the reasons for the promotion was because he was cooperative in sourcing funds for the political party and that motivated us as our friend had been promoted for being cooperative,” Kalonga told the court.
He said at the Capital Hotel car park meeting they asked Mphwiyo to arrange that they be available when he would be presenting next set of funding to the party for the PP officials to know that in the Ministry of Tourism there were also people doing something for the party.
According to Kalonga, several meetings were held between the end of June and July in which they were discussing with Mphwiyo on the second funding after the first set of funding had already been done in April 2013.
“Mr Mphwiyo said he was receiving pressure from the political party and we should be ready with huge funding,” Kalonga said.
He said Mphwiyo told them that being the budget director, there would be no need for him to be presenting the ‘extra funding’ documents to anyone as that would be his discretion.
In one of the meetings, Mphwiyo is also said to have told the Ministry of Tourism team that the share would be more as other agencies would be sidelined.
In the second round of funding which was done between the end of July and early days of August 2013, according to Kalonga, some people such as a Mr. Siti of Accountant General’s office and a Mr. Chipenda of Treasury, who expressed their displeasure with the first funding share, were dropped.
The participating agencies included the Accountant General’s office, Treasury, the ministries or departments that asked for extra funding, in this case the Ministry of Tourism, Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), Director of Construction’s office and Office of the Director of Public Procurement (ODPP).
Kalonga said in the initial stages, Mphwiyo handled all matters relating certificates of contractors’ completion of work from the office of the director of building, actual funding from treasury, cheques clearance by Financial Intelligence Unit and all matters relating to the operations of Office of the Director of Public Procurement.
The ministry was responsible for the generation of vouchers and voucher lists.
Ndaona Satema of Kanengo Construction Company, which received three cheques, admitted to the facts on the charge sheet but disagreed to have received 10 percent of the money that passed through her account as commission as Kalonga has been saying.
Satema joins Andrews Chilalika, Fatchi Chungano and Sympathy Chisale who already admitted to facts but pleaded not guilty while one Stanley Mtambo already pleaded guilty and the court convicted him pending sentence.