An application by former minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Raphael Kasambara to travel to South Africa for medical treatment has been rejected by High Court judge Michael Mtambo – a well known foe of the former.
Private practice lawyer Emmanuel Theu who is representing Kasambara, who is facing a charge of conspiracy to commit murder in the case of the shooting of former Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo, told the court that his client has a heart problem that needed specialist treatment by a cardiologist in South Africa.
Professor Jack Wirima, Mwaiwathu Private Hospital medical director, said Kasambara who has been receiving treatment at Mwaiwathu, would be fit to stand trial after 10 days.
“Mr. Kasambara will be fit to stand trial after 10 days. He will be discharged tomorrow and on the 13th November he will be treated as an outpatient, “ read in part the report by Wirima tendered in court.
Theu said the court needed more information on Kasambara’s condition and asked if Prof Wirima be be cross-examined on his report.
Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mary Kachale asked the defence to choose a hospital of their choice, have Kasambara examined and provide the report to court
In making his ruling , Judge Mtambo said: “There is no documentation that Mwaiwathu [Private Hospital in Blantyre] have failed to treat Mr. Kasambara. As long as the third accused [Kasambara] is in custody, this trial will never finish.
He added: 2There was [the case of businessperson-cum-politician Osward] Lutepo and it was agreed that trial could proceed in his [Lutepo’s] absence. Please, ask your client if he would be in agreement. Secondly, we should meet on the 26th of November to continue this case.”
Meanwhile, High Court has revoked bail of Macdonald Kumwembe, a former Malawi Defence Force (MDF) soldier and Kasambara’s co-accused after finding him in contempt of court.
Judge Mtambo said Kumwembe’s behaviour, where he obtained private information of the judge’s curriculum vitae and further revealed about the judges security detail, was enough for him to pass the sentence.
In June this year, hired chief Cashgate prosecutor Kamudoni Nyasulu asked the High Court in Lilongwe to disqualify Kasambara, a senior counsel (SC), from representing Cashgate suspects on the basis that he is either a suspect or witness in the cases.
In its ruling on Kumwembe’s appeal against conviction for contempt of court and sentence provided on October 12, the Supreme Court said the matter raised by the DPP has implications beyond the application as there are rights of Kasambara to practise his profession and earn a living and there is also involved the right of the applicant (Kumwembe) to a legal counsel of his choice.
Kachale said the State will proceed to consider whether it should file something with the Malawi Law Society (MLS) as the regulatory body and the Attorney General (AG) as the head of the bar,saying “there are so many issues at hand” but will consider “ priorities”.
Kumwembe changed lawyers and he is being represented by Goba Chipeta.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :