Malawi’s immediate past president Joyce Banda will not testify in as defence witness in connection with the shooting of budget director Paul Mphwiyo as trial resumes this Thursday at High Court in Lilongwe, her aide has said.
The accused will start entering defence and parading their witnesses after the court ruled that former Justice Minister Raphael Kasambara, Pika Manondo and McDonald Kumwembe have a case to answer on the attempted assassination of Mphwiyo.
Judge Michael Mtambo ruled that the evidence tendered by the state had proved a prima facie case against the accused persons.
Mtambo, however, acquitted three other suspects Oswald Lutepo, Dauka Manondo and Robert Kadzuwa of conspiracy to commit murder charges saying the prosecution team did not present sufficient evidence implicating the accused persons.
The former Malawi leader and founder of People’s Party (PP), is appearing on the list of witnesses who might be called to testify.
Kasambara is on record telling Lilongwe Magistrate Court that he would want Banda, former State House official Cecilia Kumpukwe (a sister to former president Banda), former Minister of Information Brown Mpinganjira and politician Hophmally Makande (his pal) to testify in court as witness.
Banda is on record to have said she knows the people who shot Mphwiyo.
One of the defense lawyers, Wapona Kita said in Daily Times:” I can confirm that indeed Joyce Banda is one of the witnesses that we may parade. “
He however said the list is tentative and might be amended depending on the progress of the case.
But Banda’s Personal Assistant Andekuche Chanthunya said the former president is not surprised with the plan.
“That’s not new. Ralph Kasambara put her name on the list when he disclosed his witness list. So, our position is the same as we gave at that time. She will not testify,” the papers quote Chanthunya as saying.
Another lawyer Gift Mwankhwawa, who is representing one of the suspects Pika Manondo, said if Banda will be paraded as witness in court, then he would also want to ask her some questions in connection with the sentiments she made at a rally at Lunzu in Blantyre about Mphwiyo’s shooters.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :