Lilongwe High Court Judge Michael Ntambo said on Thursday that he expects the trial of the on going attempted murder case of former Budget Director Paul Mphwiyo to be concluded during the next court session, which will be from January 27-29 2016.
Lawyer and former Minister of Justice Ralph Kasambala , businessman Pika Manondo and Macdonald Kumwembe are answering attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murders on Mphwiyo.
“The arrangement will be that [cashgate prisoner] Osward Lutepo will be the first to testify then the second accused (Pika Manondo) will enter defence and after that the other witnesses will come in,” said Mtambo.
“We should keep time when cross examining and it should be straight to the point because am here to preside over a case of who shot Mphwiyo and not any other,” said Judge Ntambo.
Mphwiyo’s shooting on 13 September 2013 led to the unravelling of the systematic looting of millions of government money dubbed ‘cashgate’.
In the shooting trial witnesses have revealed information relating to cashgate, Malawi’s worst financial scandal in its 50 years as an independent country.
Earlier, two witnesses, Chief Secretary George Mkondiwa and Reserve Bank of Malawi Director for the Banking and Currency Management Department Mercy Kumbatira testified.
The court had expected seasoned politician Brown Mpinganjira to testify before the others but he was excused to the January 27 session because he received the court summon late.
However, the first accused, Kumwembe dropped former Secretary to the Treasury Radson Mwadiwa as his witness.
The case has been adjourned to January 27 and it will run for three days.
Forensic auditors from British audit firm, Baker Tilly, established that under the administration of Joyce Banda, about K24 billion was looted at Capital Hill between April and September 2013 through inflated invoices and payments for goods and services not provided to government.
In 2015, a financial analysis by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) also established that about K577 billion in public funds could not be reconciliated between 2009 and December 2014 owing to abuse of the central payment system, Integrated Financial Management Information System .
Western donor nations and agencies, which provide 40% of Malawi’s budget, froze vital aid in reaction to the scandal.
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