Gani names Malawi cops who threatened him to implicate Kasambara -affidavit

Three senior police detectives have been named as being at the centre of an attempt by the Malawi police to coerce a former bodyguard to former Justice Minister, Ralph Kasambara, to implicating the later in the shooting of Budget Director, Paul Mphwiyo, court records  seen by Nyasa Times have shown.

According to a sworn affidavit by Keston Gani, who was Kasambara’s bodyguard until minister’s dismissal from cabinet last October, detectives Makwinja, Chilinda and Chaima threatened Gani to lie that he had lent his gun to Kasambara which they allege was used in the shooting of Mphwiyo.

The detectives also asked Gani to state that he had overheard Kasambara complain about Mphwiyo on the phone.

“I would like to categorically state that despite the detectives wanting me to implicate Mr. Kasambara, I have stood my ground and stated the truth that at no point did my gun leave my possession being government property and I being a Police Officer.

Deputy Inspector General of Police (operations) Nelson Bophani who is chairing the Crime Investigation Committee

“As a result of my refusal to implicate myself or Mr. Kasambara, my bosses have made a decision to have me arrested and charged me with an offence of attempted murder, facts of which have not been made known to me,” reads Gani’s affidavit.

According to Gani, no issue was raised by the Officer-in-charge in the VIP Diplomatic Protection Branch when he returned the pistol and signed for it in the register upon being assigned to other duties following Kasambara’s removal from cabinet.

Gani said his gun had been fired only once, in October of 2012, when he fired four bullets into the air in an attempt to scare off DPP supporters who were trying to attack Kasambara’s official vehicle during a fracas around Kawalazi Estate in Nkhata Bay. Kasambara was not in the vehicle.

According to the affidavit, Gani had been issued with a Luger Service Pistol with eight 9 mm live ammunition upon his being assigned on 24th April 2012 when Kasambara was appointed Minister of Justice.

Following the Kawalazi incident, police replaced the four bullets bringing the number of bullets to the original eight 9 mm live ammunition.

“The bullets I was issued brought the number of bullets in my gun to 8 and are the (same) bullets I have handed over to armoury upon being assigned to other duties. I am now very surprised as to why I am now being told to change my report and alter records to state that, apart from the said incident, the gun was used and that the same was lent to Mr. Kasambara or whom they want me to state that I lent out the gun to, a fact which I know is not true,” he wrote.

According to Gani’s affidavit, Deputy Director of CID, Mr. Chaima, told him that he was always concerned when he sees a police officer in trouble when he is able to help.

“He continued to state that I could be helped in the same way in the case where police officers had stolen money from Burundians when (sic) he just kept them from being prosecuted and saved their jobs. I was hence told that I should do things to assist myself by telling them that Mr. Kasambara borrowed my gun or that he paid me to do the ‘job’ on his behalf or I would suffer,” he wrote.

Police claimed bullets which were found in Mphwiyo’s body had been traced to a gun belonging to Gani.

Gani was arrested on or about November 10, 2013, immediately after the arrest of Kasambara on November 8, 2013 and Pika Manondo, Mphwiyo’s best friend, who handed himself to police a day earlier.

Police had placed Manondo, who was then outside the country, on interpol’s wanted list in connection with the shooting of Mphwiyo, who was shot at the entrance of is gate on the night of 13th September 2013.

Police also unsuccessfully attempted to coerce Manondo to implicate Kasambara.

Manondo is on record saying he will reveal how certain influential people managed to abuse the Integrated Financial Management Information System (Ifmis) to siphon billions of kwacha from government coffers.

Kasambara, one of the country’s prominent lawyers and a senior counsel (SC), his former bodyguard, Keston Gani and Pika Manondo have been charged with attempting to murder Mphwiyo.

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