Court finds gun-toting MP Mtelemuka with case to answer

Member of Parliament (MP) for Blantyre City south East Constituency Jeffrey Mtelemuka risks losing his seat and serve a 10-year maximum jail term after Blantyre Magistrate’s Court found him with a case to answer for threatening his nephew with a pump gun.

Mtelemuka, who is not short of drama, was last year dragged to court on allegations that he intimidated his nephew, Frank Kambalame 37, and threatened to kill him after the two quarreled over a piece of land in Bangwe Township, Blantyre.

The MP is said to have threatened to kill his Kambalame using a licensed pump gun he brags about so often in public.

According to court files Nyasa Times has sourced, First Grade Magistrate Diana Mangwana, last month, ruled against the trigger-happy lawmaker despite his not-guilty plea in the case that is being held under closed doors.justice

The court files indicate that Mangwana, on Tuesday, September 09, 2013, made the ruling-in the chamber-on argument that, the evidence presented by the prosecution was substantial enough to charge the Parliamentarian with a case to answer.

Mtelemuka, who is being represented by Ralph & Arnold Associates law firm, was last year charged with acts of intimidation, using a dangerous weapon, contrary to Section 88 (1) of the Penal Code, and is yet to present his defense, to justify his innocence.

Some of the prosecution witnesses who testified against Mtelemuka included Chileka Police Sub-Inspector Stetson Mataka, the then arresting officer, who was in-charge of Bangwe Police team that repossessed the gun from the legislator’s residence in Chigumula, and Davie Mtete, Southern Region Police Senior Prosecution Officer (SPO).

If convicted, Mtelemuka will losing his Parliament seat and would have to wait for seven years before contesting for any public office.

The case

According to Police report, the heated argument between Mtelemuka and Kambalame ensued on the night of August 23, 2012, and the latter was severely beaten by the Parliamentarian.

In an interview with local media, Kambalame claimed Mtelemuka also abused him verbally that he will die poor despite working with him during his 2009 political campaign.

“I was beaten by the MP on suspicion that I was influencing a family, from which he bought a piece land, to reverse its decision. But the truth of the matter was that I had no hand in the allegations,” said Kambalame.

He  was formally arrested and charged by police after Kambalame reported the matter to the law-enforcers who confiscated the said gun.

Mtelemuka is one of the few MPs from the Democratic Progressive Party that rebelled against the late president Bingu wa Mutharika. Others were the current Information minister Moses Kunkuyu, Peter Nowa of Mulanje Pasani and Wells Gama.

He once made headlines when he told members of the District Advisory Committee for Blantyre that he carries a gun in his car because people are “disrespectful” and he wants “to be respected”.

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