Sate witness Charles Chalunda has clarified in court that the person he had been conspiring with to kill former Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo was Pika Manondo and not businessperson-cum-politician Osward Lutepo.
This was after Chalunda had been persuaded to testify by defence lawyer John-Gift Mwakhwawa and Enock Chibwana from the prosecution team when the court sat in camera on Wednesday.
He initially refused to testify under oath in the High Court in Lilongwe, arguing that he feared to be charged of perjury, a charge he was earlier convicted of at Zomba Magistrate’s Court.
Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mary Kachale asked Chalunda if he knew one-by-one the suspects including former minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Ralph Kasambara, Pika Manondo, Dauka Manondo, Macdonald Kumwembe and Robert Kadzuwa.
Chalunda responded: “I have never seen them.”
The top prosecutor told Chalunda that he is being “ threatened” by the suspects, adding: “That is why you are now disowning the people that you know. You even mentioned Ralph Kasambara as the one who was threatening you and Pika Manondo as the one you were dealing with.”
Kachale charged:“I am insisting that witnesses are being threatened and I can prove that with a recording which we have in our possession, I want to see if Chalunda will disown his own voice.”
The Director of Public Prosecution produced photocopied affidavits and selected a sentence which was purportedly written by Chalunda to Goba Chipeta as his lawyer to read to the court.
“Affidavit imene ndinapeleka yoyamba siidali yolondola. [The first affidavit I submitted was incorrect],” read Chalunda.
Chalunda testified that it was correct affidavit when he was made to re-read it, sayin he was happy with it.
“I don’t know where all this is coming from! I think I meant to omit the ‘si’ [not]. I don’t know what is happening. I did not write,” he said.
According to the affidavit, one of the accused, Pika Manondo, allegedly gave Chalunda money on two occasions amounting to almost K2 million as part payment to kill Mphwiyo.
Mphwiyo’s shooting on September 13, 2013 outside his house in Lilongwe opened a can of worms that led to the revelation of Cashgate, in which public officers, politicians and businesspersons looted billions of taxpayers money.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :