A glimpse into the ‘un-reported’ Mphwiyo shooting case

Sampling the 10th and 11th December 2015 court session. It was on Thursday around nine o’clock in the morning or just after, when court resumed and the three accused; MacDonald Kumwembe and Pika Manondo, and Raphael Kasambara SC were to enter their defence in the case they are accused of attempted murder and conspiracy to murder respectively.

Mphwiyo when he appeared at the High Court in Lilongwe

Mphwiyo when he appeared at the High Court in Lilongwe

First to enter their defence was MacDonald Kumwembe who went on to narrate his back ground and explained that on the said night of 13th September 2013, when Paul Montfort Mphwiyo was shot, he, MacDonald Kumwembe was in Mozambique, Tete to be precise and that was supported by his passport. In all he presented that he was not guilty of the offence of shooting Mphwiyo.

The state in cross-examining MacDonald Kumwembe had the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in the person of Mary Kachale(Mrs.) firing questions aimed at punching holes in Kumwembe’s defence.

In the early stages of cross-examination, Kachale presented a letter purported to be from the Malawi Defence Force(MDF) signed by a Liwimbi which said that Kumwembe was an ordinary soldier and that he never worked in the Intelligence Section of the Force.

Kumwembe responded by saying that in the first place there is no rank of “Ordinary Soldier” in the MDF and he requested the presiding Judge, Justice Michael Mtambo to allow him call for his certificates from his home to explain better his role in the military, a call the judge granted.

Kachale later alleged that Kumwembe was lying that he was in Mozambique from the 30th of August to the 14th of September 2013 as someone had apparently seen him in Malawi within the said period, to which Kumwembe responded by saying that was the DPP’s opinion as there was evidence to the contrary.

There were moments of laughter from the gallery when in most instances Kumwembe simply answered the DPP that whatever she was alleging in cross examining him was her own opinions of him and the situation and challenged her to support the same with evidence. At one point Kumwembe told the DPP to be objective and stop “thinking” for the court as the court was just and did not require anyone “thinking for it”

The DPP asked MacDonald Kumwembe why there appeared to a lot of money in his bank account and who had deposited it, as per the copy of bank statement she was looking at. He first asked the DPP to look at his other bank accounts’ statements as he had several accounts running and determine if what Kachale was alleging to be a huge deposit would indeed be an amount to raise eyebrows about.

She responded by saying,” this was the only account that had dubious transactions”. Kumwembe told the DPP that if she had bothered to check his other bank accounts she would not have been troubled by the figure she felt was abnormally huge in one of his bank accounts since the other bank accounts had even bigger amounts of money deposited in them. The figure in question was Mk300, 000. (Three Hundred Thousand Kwacha only)

In an attempt to pressure the first accused to respond as she wished, the DPP tried to scare Kumwembe that he was in contempt of court if he did not answer as she wished to which the presiding judge retorted that Kachale should cite a case and authority that support her claim that if the first accused answers in the negative or indeed chooses not to give an answer then he is in contempt of court and should be charged and punished accordingly. It was strangely funny when the DPP chose to quickly sit down and not cite the case and authority demanded by the judge.

Earlier in the afternoon of the first day the DPP wound up her cross-examination by, amongst other allegations, putting it to Kumwembe that;

  1. He was an ordinary soldier who did not work in the intelligence section of the MDF,
  2. He had lied that he was in Mocambique in that period but had been seen in Malawi (it had been earlier testified by a Mr. Kamkhwala Chilinda) of the CID of Malawi Police Service that he had seen Kumwembe although later it had transpired that Chilinda was lying and confessed the same.)
  3. He was present at the scene of crime. I.e. where Paul Montfort Mphwiyo was shot.
  4. He was the one who shot Paul Montfort Mphwiyo.

After a few minutes recess, it was time for the first accused to be cross-examined by his co-accused. Pika Manondo did not have any questions for MacDonald Kumwembe whilst Raphael Kasambara SC has a barrage of questions for him.

It must be said that, this was the moment the courtroom witnessed a different and more coordinated form of cross-examination. The DPP was all over the place with her questions such that the presiding judge at one point had to ask her where her questioning was leading. Enter the Senior Counsel; one could see his direction as he asked questions supported by evidence on the court file.

The third accused, Raphael Kasambara SC, started by asking Kumwembe to read out loud all the three statements recorded by Paul Montfort Mphwiyo, i.e first one recorded in late October 2013 a month after the shooting, a second one recorded in November 2013 and the last on recorded at the end of December 2013. All these caution statements were duly signed by Paul Montfort Mphwiyo.

When questioned whether any of these statements mentions any names of individual(s) who shot the victim, Kumwembe replied that none of the statements did, and actually Mphwiyo actually stated in all three statements that he did not know who shot him and had no idea who may have wanted to harm him.

Kumwembe responded to a question that he was arrested on the 18th of September 2013, i.e only four days after the incident and remained in custody till sometime in January 2014. All the while his name had not been mentioned anywhere in the investigations, let alone in the caution statements Mr. Paul Montfort Mphwiyo made and signed for.

Meanwhile, in the courtroom, one could hear murmurings and whisperings, much to the annoyance of the judge, who for a while tolerated it.

When asked why he thinks Mphwiyo did not mention him in all three caution statements, MacDonald Kumwembe said, simply because Mphwiyo did not see him at the crime scene on that night. He went on to narrate how he had known Mphwiyo closely during his (Mphwiyo’s) college days at Chancellor College when Mphwiyo was actively engaged in political activism.

He said Mphwiyo was using a green Toyota Hilux Double cabin vehicle and was most times in the company of late Dumbo Lemani. Kumwembe said they usually interacted at drinking joints and were very familiar with each other, such that if he, (Kumwembe) had been at the scene of the shooting on that night and standing at five metres away from Mphwiyo (as Mphwiyo had indicated when the court assembled at his house at the beginning of the trial)surely Mphwiyo would not missed mentioning him in the three caution statements he made from October to December 2013.

Kasambara asked Kumwembe if he remembered what charges were levelled against him and with whom was he listed on the charge sheet. Kumwembe replied by reading from the charge sheet which was passed to him from the court file by the court clerk. He read out that he was charged with attempted murder together with Robert Kaduwa who later was let off the charge.

Kumwembe confirmed by reading further that the charge sheet was signed by the DPP herself. When asked to read out the date the charge sheet was signed by the DPP, Kumwembe read on that it said 31st July 2013. And the court room murmured and whispered.

The charge sheet was signed before the crime was committed on 13th September 2013.

On the Friday morning, MacDonald Kumwembe was asked to read out from one of his certificates which had now been made available in court following the request Kumwembe had made to the judge the previous day. He read out that the certificate was awarded to him upon completion of a training for Intelligence Officers and was signed by a Maulana who happens to be the current Army commander.

Kasambara asked who would be better placed to state MacDonald Kumwembe’s status when he served in the Army, and the reply was Maulana. This countered greatly the DPP’s assertions through the letter from Liwimbi that said Kumwembe was an Ordinary Soldier.

More certificates that Kumwembe read out confirmed that he had undergone a number of trainings including one conducted by the British Infantry School done in English, contrary again to the state’s insinuation that MacDonald kumwembe is illiterate and could not speak English.

Since the court had to adjourn at midday, the cross examination was curtailed to continue at a later date.

The court then had to hear the third accused application for bail since his bail was revoked almost 12 weeks earlier. Raphael Kasambara SC stated that his health had deteriorated in custody and his incarceration has resulted in the case delaying further, unlike when he was free and would easily monitor his health and avoid asking the court for time off to attend to his medical needs.

The DPP argued that in the ”interest of justice” the state was against granting the third accused bail because the state feels this application was a waste of court’s time and resources since the third accused has also submitted an application on the same to the Supreme Court of Appeal. She also argued that much as she is aware of the third accused’s current medical condition, she has been assured that the Prison’s medical personnel regularly attend to him and that should be adequate medical care.

In his final submission, Kasambara emphasized the need for his bail arguing that for whatever misdeed he committed against the judge, he believes the three months he has been incarcerated are adequate punishment and the court should exercise leniency. He indicated that the Prison’s medical staff really does attend to him as evidenced by his health passport which he presented to the judge for inspection.

The health passport only had two entries; one on 4th December 2015 and the other on 9th December 2015, both only showing his blood pressure readings. No details of his prevailing ailment, as well as the diarrhea he had been having for a number of weeks. This was in sharp contrast to the DPP’s assertions that the third accused has access to decent medical attention in prison.

The presiding judge announced he will deliver his ruling on the bail application through e-mail in the week ending 18th December 2015. The case has been adjourned to resume on the 4th of January 2016.

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57 thoughts on “A glimpse into the ‘un-reported’ Mphwiyo shooting case”

  1. Mwenecho says:

    Kkkkkkk, the dpp has to b more sophiscated in this whole case coz kasanbara has shown times without number that he z a legal sage, i like his legal charisma

  2. I think a mary kachalewo tsiku lina lake azatifotokozere bwino what was her intension yopanga mlandu munthu asanaombeledwe kapena anali mgulu lowombera mphwiyo,onetime she will be answerable

  3. U Can Hide Kachale But You Cant Hide To God

  4. BINGU says:

    DPP Kachale you can not bit my proffessor. You now realise how small you are in the legal industry. RK is the finest legal thing that ever happened in this country.

  5. vilimmwera says:

    mbava zitakumana kumbali DPP malovu kutha nkamwa

  6. Mswayo says:

    The state always sleeps. Apa ndarama zathu zikupita basi. Our monies will be used to compensate these guys.

  7. For Those Who Have Been Following Up This Case, U Can Agree That The State Has Alot Of Errors’,uncounted So Far That Even Ababy Can See This.That Is Why Some Judges Have Been Recusing Themselves They So That There Is No Case Here But Look To The Defence They Are Just Smart Busy Punching Question To The Point Mary Kachale Chose To Sit Down Wait This Is Just The Begining You Will Get Sitted So Dat People Will Learn From You,know That This Case Is A Political You Can Hide To Sit Down But You Will Not Hide To God.

  8. Palibe Amene Angalese Nkhondo Ya Mulungu Kaya Kuli Ndani Kaya President Kaya Ma Judge Onse Akuchepa Ndi Nkhondo Ya Mulungu, Read Exodus 14vs 13-14.The Bible Say God Will Fight For Our Enemies While We Hold Our Peace Ndi Izotu Tsopano

  9. Joyce Hildah Banda says:


  10. The More The State Delay In Giving Them Bail The More Billions Of Tax Payers Money They Will Pay Kumangodana Ndi Munthu Chifukwa Choti Akuwaposa Nzeru Mulungu Mwini Wake Ndi Mmene Anamugawira Wina Aliyense Olo Mudane Naye Kasambara Ndimulungu Amene Anamugawira Nzeru Ndiye Inuyo Simungalimbane Ndi Mulungu Toto Adaliko Mmbaibulo Achena Pharaoh Ankalimbana Ndi Anthu A Mulungu Adakanika Okha. Mulungu Ngati Wakana Basi Wakana Inu Ndinu Ndani A Mary Kachale Sikulu Yake Iti Munapita Muzaziona Day One Boma Limasintha Lidaliko La Asamunda Lidapita Lidaliko La Amalemo Lidapita Mumufunse Mzanu Kaliyati Ankalalata Kwambiri Lero Sanaphunzirepo . Mulungu Akayimba Nkhondo Palibe Amene Angailese Nkhondo Yake

  11. Truck says:


  12. Looking @ different chargesheet dates there is enough evidence that the state false story to dirten image of kasambara kumwembe and pika manondo ,fortunately God is watching mary kachare apa ndiye wapezeka, Mulungu Siwasewera Iweyo Siungalimbane Ndi Mphamvu Ya Mulungu,if God Say No Who Can Say Yes,

  13. Ndikukhulupilira Kuti Ku Coutt Kunali Kanthu. Funso Limozi Mpakana Kukhala Pansi Akachalewo

  14. Duwe says:

    Mlandu watha basi. Palibe umboni wokwanira

  15. Koma Kachaleyo Mutate Mumuonesese Anaipa Ndi Nkhope.Chomwe Akuiwala Ndichoti Akukamila Mlandu Mwini Wake Ali Chete.Kapena Anali Limozi Ndi Mphwiyo At The Scene Anene .Akufuna Kuphunzira Pa Mlandu Wa Akasambara Ndiye Zawakanika

    1. Twambi says:

      @42, ayi ayi ayi. sizikukguaa mawonekedwe. iwe ukanayika picture yako kotu tiyiwone nkhope yako

  16. KenyanMalawi says:

    Zoona izi kapena mwakometsera mbali ya zigawenga? Zomwe achita a Maery ngati zili zoona nde za manyazitu. Even student wa law sangapange zimenezo

  17. Mbiri says:

    The writer of this article was not even in the courtroom. He is a foolish sympathizer of mediocrity who wants to buy public sympathy for these clowns. We all know that both Kasambara and Mphwiyo are crooks that were fighting for the loot from government coffers. Corruption is deep-rooted indeed. But the judge is also taking his time. Why do you have to adjourn for so long? Kodi mukumakafunsira kaye? Why do cases in the developed world take less time? We have seen the Pistorious case….kapena mukubisa ena aketu! Even Mphwiyo is now looking confident…we are quickly becoming the laughing stock of the world

  18. OJB says:

    Law at its best

  19. chimwene says:

    It is evedent that the reporter is leaning towards the accused. What an unbalanced story. But why do you people side with crooks?

  20. chimwene says:

    It is evedent that the reporter is leaninf towards the accused. What an unbalanced story. But do you you people side with crooks?

  21. Sylvester says:

    We are following it. will see how it ends.

  22. Chifwede says:

    Charles Kufa, this is one of the best entries i have read. I have now attended a court case on Mphwiyo’s shooting through this your article.

    Keep on writing.

  23. mthako wa Alhomwe says:

    shaaaa, DPP ya Mary

  24. Ngati Mwini Wake Mphwiyo Akukana Kuti Sanaone Munthu Akumuwombera Kodi Enani Bwanji Mukukamira Mwasambuka Mphwiyo.Dzoko Likukudabwani

  25. Mphwache says:

    I think its good that this case is not being tried by jury. Learned judges will at the end of the day pass judgement. It remains to be seen whether, the public jury being influenced by social media will be happy with the final judgement. I for one will await the judges statement instead of this public fodder.

  26. savimbi steve says:

    Naye DPP saatha kuyimira mlandu and she is not experienced enough .I see the Munthalika Govt being humiliated in this Case bcoz they don’t have a Strong Case against these Guys .ie Kasambara and Kumwembe.You’ ve destroyed their reputation of Kasambara and Kumwembe so be prepared to cough Millions as DAMAGES.Kasambara mwana mtonga ,mungamukora yayi,” MTONGA NTCHIGUMBULI wakukomeka nawanthu mbweka chara”.Mulirenge chaka ichi watungwa imwe.

  27. savimbi steve says:

    Ralph Kasambara,I see him together with Kumwembe being Aquitted in this CASHGATE CASE and The two sueing the Govt for MILLIONS.The Govt has no EVIDENCE to convict the two.They are just presenting hearsays without evidence beyond reasonable doubt for court to find the two guilt.The Govt is 100% LOOSING this case.

  28. Zenko says:

    Comments not displayed

  29. Gadabwali says:

    Kumwembe ndi amuna man, dpp ali m’madzi! If you want to win ths case madam dpp, change the initials of your title/position, ikufanana ndi chipani china chake.

  30. Owen says:


  31. mapwevupwevu says:

    Rough Kasambara wakoyo afera kundende konko!

  32. Yaya James says:

    Only in Malawi a case takes almost 3 years to conclude . If it was uk it will take 3 weeks .

  33. mbanga says:

    koma ya

  34. mengo says:

    Looks like the case against these guys is loosing steam. If this report is an accurate record of what happened in the court, the DPP should fall on her sword. Its unbelievable, that a supposedly top country’s prosecutor can perform in this manner. The DPP is spitting in the face of govt.

  35. Maky says:

    kkkkkkkkkkk DPP sizinthu

  36. Mo says:

    I think the issue here is more personal,can the DPP go back and do a research on the background stories betweenMtambo,kasambala kumwembe then the party in goverment kkkkkkkk dont waste our tax money

  37. Ishmael Wadi says:

    Shaaaaa mwabesa case! Who gave this incompetent woman that hot seat! Give it back to Ishmael Wadi and these smiling mafias will cry to their graves.

    And mixing Kumwembe and Kasambara was a mistake. Kasambava needed his own case otherwise acina Kumwembe knows as long as Kasambava is with them They will be acquitted and worse still compensated.
    Dziko limasinthadi. I wish Machelowe was alive to see this satanic man called Kasambava in prison.

  38. Nyamakumutu says:

    Looking at how many people have been pushed into the cash gate because of this Mpwiyo can they be on his neck.

  39. Kawaba says:

    yet another attempt by a (sympathizer of) kasambara to spin the court proceedings. Argue your case in court and lets see who will drink tea.

  40. Moses Makoko says:

    Who appointed this girl to be dpp? How can she fail to prove her arguments with facts? Is it bcoz even if the govt loses she still gets her cheque monthly? Ku malawi palibe chikutheka! Bolanso kwa magufuli

  41. mapwevupwevu says:

    Wow! A very written article by a Rough Kasambara supporter!

  42. Hara-chilumba-karonga says:

    that’s the mafia kasambala I know!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ana a boma mwachepa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    u will pay more than zimene anaba!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  43. backbencher says:

    Evidence, Evidence and more Evidence and Kumwembe is off the hook especially if the DPP continues to behave like an amateur reasons must be backed by concrete evidence not like de one being presented by de DPP

  44. Eye Witness says:

    Tinanena kale Ife:
    1. Caught in the act
    2. Confession
    3. Forensic evidence
    4. Victim accounts of the story.

    Non of these are in the hands of the DPP. The accused will walk out freely demanding damages from the depleted government coffers.

  45. Balamanthu says:

    When the charge sheet was signed before the offence was committed just means that these guys were plotting to flog the three guys-Kasambara,Manondo and Kumwembe.From what has been written, there is no way Mary Kachale can get a conviction here.It just proves that Michael Mtambo has a vendetta against these people and both himself and Mary Kachale should be fired and jailed.

  46. Funzo says:

    If this report is accurate, this DPP is as poor as the other DPP.

  47. Mwana Mai says:

    This Kumwembe plonker is just trying to play with words. Basically what the DPP was implying is that the alleged perpetrator was indeed a soldier but of a lesser rank ie other rank (from Pte to WO class 1). Liwimbi should be well placed to elaborate what he meant in his description of Kumwembe, him being a lawyer and military officer. In fact if Kumwembe is just wasting government resources and is finally found guilty he must be made to pay for all the costs incurred. If he had huge bank accounts, who is interested to know about it, anyway? Leave semantics alone, please and stop buying time.

  48. gulugunya. says:

    Akuluakulu Kasambara ndi mbava zedi. Ndipo mulandu uwu a uwina basi. Tasatirani mafunso amene amamufunsa Kumwembe ndi mayankho omwe amapereka kumwembewo.

  49. Nankununkha sadzimva says:

    Kasambara and the co- accused may win this case. I wouldn’t mind though because Mphwiyo is an equally worse enemy of Malawi.

  50. Dr Salijeni, says:

    I’m not a legal expert but it sounds like this DPP has a weak case here. Unless she’s holding a few surprises I’ve got a feeling she will NOT get any convictions. Our only hope remains with the judge who may have a pesonal vendetta against the accused and find them guilty anyway (common sense!!) considering that there’s no jury and (or is there a jury?)
    From what I have read so far my confidence in this DPP is at 2%, but like I said I’m no legal expert.

  51. Chimwemwe says:

    1. Mary Kachale is not very competent
    2. Paul Mphyiyo is a liar and hiding something. Some of the accused may have been involved in his shooting but Paul did not see them.
    3. Ralph Kasambara is a mafia
    4. Judge Mtambo is an incompetent whining baby
    5. All these people are thieves. Other thieves were not in court

  52. chithako says:

    Mlandu uwu anthu awa akuwuwina basi am disappointed ndi Mary Kachali inconsistence in the case

  53. Moses Makoko says:

    I am seeing these crooks off the trap not long from now. The more the case delays, the more details slip through fingers and in the end nobody will be able to explain why they are being kept in custody. While all this is happening, someone who stole a chicken is rotting just in the next cell. Mukudziwana

  54. Mathanyux one toothed says:

    Kkkkkk wow! Interesting. Enjoyed reading this article and from my layman’s experience, I can foretell that this is an acquittal case. Kumwembe, Kasambara I salute you guys especially Kumwembe for educating the DPP on how to answer questions hahahaha. Ndikutha kuona DPP Mary Kachale sanagone, hd headache.

  55. haward says:

    Bwinotu musagwe nayo aboma nkhaniyi, zachuluka mbwerera kwambiri

  56. Truck says:


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