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Malawi official held for embezzlement

25 October 2013, 16:20

Blantyre - A top Malawi official suspected of embezzling $15m from the state coffers was arrested and charged with corruption on Thursday, officials said.

Treza Namathanga Senzani, the principal secretary in the ministry of tourism, is most senior official to be arrested after the revelation of a graft scandal that prompted President Joyce Banda to dissolve her cabinet last week. 

Senzani was arrested along with Geoffrey Sinoya, a junior accounts assistant.

Authorities said the two were nabbed after complaints that they were making "illegal entries" into the government payment system.

Senzani is accused of ordering payments to her company for services or business that never took place.

She is out on bail and her case will resume next month.

The impoverished southern African country was last week rocked by a major corruption and fraud scandal dubbed the "Capital Hill cash-gate" scandal, named after the seat of government.

Several public servants have been arrested on suspicion of emptying the public purse.

On Monday, Vice President Khumbo Kachali blamed the looting of government coffers on "loopholes" in the state's payment system and vowed to punish culprits.



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