Mobile telecommunications operator Airtel Malawi gave testimony in the shooting of former budget director in the Ministry of Finance Paul Mphwiyo on call logs which showed that shooting suspect McDonald Kumwembe was within Malawi before and after Mphwiyo’s shooting on September 13 2013 contrary to his passport details.
Furthermore, the testimony from an Airtel Malawi official also shows that the third suspect, Pika Manondo, was in the country after the shooting, contrary to a position made by the defence.
Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mary Kachale asked the court that the identities of the Airtel Malawi witnesses should not be mentioned in the media but rather that they be identified by their employer, but presiding Judge Michael Mtambo did not make any ruling on the matter.
In its testimony, Airtel Malawi indicated that Kumwembe was in contact with Manondo.
In addition, the Airtel official told the court that prior to the shooting on September 12 2013, Kumwembe travelled from Bvumbwe in Thyolo through Zomba, Dedza then Biwi Triangle in Lilongwe.
Said the official: “Our system is able to trace the call from where it is calling, how long the call was, despite the caller using a different line. We just trace the serial number on the phone [handset]. Using our towers, we are able to even follow the caller.”
According to Airtel Malawi, Kumwembe’s call log, whose mobile number is 0999226214, cell towers recorded that the suspect was around Bvumbwe in Thyolo on September 12 but moved from there to Lilongwe via Zomba road.
“My interpretation of the caller records show that the owner was in Bvumbwe during the morning of September 12 and was in Lilongwe in the evening the same day. Our towers detected calls made around Namadzi in Zomba and also calls made around Dedza and later in the evening another call was recorded by a tower around Biwi in Lilongwe,” said one of the witnesses.
The call logs also show that Kumwembe was communicating with mobile number 0999918198, which according to court records, belongs to one of the suspects Pika Manondo.
Airtel Malawi’s testimony also cemented an earlier deposition by lead chief investigator, Kankhwala Chilinda.
Mphwiyo’s shooting at the gate of his Area 43 residence opened a can of worms into the plunder of government resources at Capital Hill in what has been dubbed Cashgate.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :