Kasambara claims conviction is miscarriage of justice: Malawi ex justice minister to appeal, says Judge Mtambo ‘compromised’


Former Minister of Justice Raphael Kasambara has said he is a victim of “miscarriage of justice” for his conviction on charges of conspiring to murder the country’s former Budget Director Paul Mphwiyo, indicating he will lodge an appeal at the Supreme Court of Malawi.

Kasambara being taken to prison to wait for his sentence.- Photo by Mphatso Nkhoma, Nyasa Times

Kasambara being taken to prison to wait for his sentence.- Photo by Mphatso Nkhoma, Nyasa Times

Sad walk to prison for Kasambara.- Photo by Mphatso Nkhoma, Nyasa Times

Sad walk to prison for Kasambara.- Photo by Mphatso Nkhoma, Nyasa Times

Pika Manondo being taken to prison- Photo by Mphatso Nkhoma, Nyasa Times

Pika Manondo being taken to prison- Photo by Mphatso Nkhoma, Nyasa Times

Kasambara's wife weeping.- Photo by Mphatso Nkhoma

Kasambara’s wife weeping.- Photo by Mphatso Nkhoma

Kasambara was found “guilty” by Judge Michael Mtambo on conspiracy to commit murder together two others, former Malawi Defence Force (MDF) soldier Macdonald Kumwembe and businessman Pika Manondo who were charged with attempted murder.

But speaking to a battery of newspersons after his conviction, Kasambara maintained his innocence, saying his conviction is as a result of “miscarriage of justice”, pointing out that the trial judge Mtambo was “compromised”.

Kasambara said he is going to appeal to the Supreme Court against his conviction.

But prosecutor Enoch Chibwana said the Judge was “neutral and the ruling is fair”.

In his ruling, the judge indicated that on the charge of attempted murder, he had found the two accused Pika Manondo and MacDonald Kumwembe guilty of the charge.

In the second charge of conspiring to commit murder, the judge also found the two plus the former minister guilty.

Law analysis

A law expert who has been following the case and attended the judgement told Nyasa Times
that a conspiracy charge is usually brought due to a lack of evidence for a substantive offence, it is often complicated and difficult to prove.

“It must be shown that the conspirators agreed on a course of conduct involving an act or omission by at least one of them which is prohibited by the criminal law, knowing or intending that a criminal act will be taking place as part of the course of conduct or as part of the agreement.

“Even if evidence of one of the conspirators does exist, the reliability of that evidence will be open to question.”

The law expert who asked not to be identified punched some holes in the case of Kasambara and two others.

He pointed out that Judge Mtambo’as acceptance of the number of assailants lacked basis as he noted only Mphwiyo saw the said assailants.

The Judge said the first accused fits description of ‘small young man at the scene’ and the law expert  pointed out that eye witness evidence is “unreliablewithout collaborating evidence.”

The lawyer also observed that Judge ruled that the passport stamps by Kumwembe is not an alibi, wondering on which ‘expert evidence’ did he rely on to prove otherwise.

He also wonders on which basis Judge Mtambo concluded that Mphwiyo never saw Manondo at the scene of crime.

Judge Mtambo in his ruling also said the call logs were not enough in the absence of further evidence and the law expert wondered  what other evidence has the state provided other than the call logs which are unreliable to say the least.

“The Judge has evidently relied on call logs which did not place Kasambara anywhere near the scene of the crime. The State’s case appears to be circumstantial,” noted the law expert.

“The State has not proven its case beyond reasonable doubt. Too many holes in the State’s case. Too many unanswered questions. The defendants should appeal their conviction to Supreme Court,” he stated.

Attempted murder attracts a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, while conspiracy to murder attracts a maximum sentence of 14 years imprisonment with hard labour.

Mphwiyo was shot outside the gate of his area 43 residence on 13 September, 2013 in what many believe is what led to the uncovering of cashgate, the systematic looting of huge sums of money from government coffers by some civil servants and politicians.

The date of the sentencing has not been indicated.

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53 thoughts on “Kasambara claims conviction is miscarriage of justice: Malawi ex justice minister to appeal, says Judge Mtambo ‘compromised’”

  1. mayira says:

    Enafe ndife mbuli pa malamulo but why is it that Kumwembe’s phone was capture in area 43 during that day when he claims (alibiing) that he was in Mozambique? Why is it that the person who he claims to have borrowed the phone distances himself from the same claim? At one point in time both Kumwembe and Manondo’s phones, immediately after the shooting travelled to Dedza, what business were they doing

  2. dzikondianthu says:

    Zikachitika timamvera kwa The Anayst

    1. The Analyst says:

      Ha ha ha ha ha . . .

  3. malaika says:

    so sad.

  4. chodziwadziwa Bsc (Poly), Msc, PhD (Oxon) says:

    Mtambo is just doing his job. Only in Malawi lawyers tend to shield one another. This should serve as an epitome to some unscrupulous lawyers that you cant run away all the days, justice will be meted in one of the days. It is not jealousy or what but the trio conspired to harm mphwiyo because of their cashgate disagreements. I find the sentiments of the lawyer commenting on the story unsubstantive, he or she just want to shield Kasambara on the matter. Let us learn to learn and not be crooked!!

    1. Mr. Chodziwadziwa it very sad that your reasoning is like of a chicken despite having those qualifications if they are real any way, in a court of Law is about factual evidence not the obvious

      1. chodziwadziwa Bsc (Poly), Msc, PhD (Oxon) says:

        Whether they are real qualifications or not it does not concern you. What you have to be schooled is that it does not need a lawyer to vouch into the veracity of the string of evidences that Mtambo used to convict the three. I was only alluding to what I have read in the story but am also conversant with what has been going on…”the factual evidence” that has been submitted to the court by both the prosecuting team and the defendants.

  5. mphatso says:

    Reading from what people have written leaves me puzzled.in a case like this do you think there was no politician or high figure involved looking at the fact that nobody knew manondo or kumwembe before.It has been stated that manondo was a boy of kasambara.did kasambara deny this fact?no.Based on past experiences with kasambara a crooked person as he was claimed to be why were there so many phone calls around the same period in question?let these guy go to jail.they have been embarrasing the nation internationally let there be peace.Next is cash gate

  6. Bounty Killah! says:

    Hey! Atumbuka inu khalani chete! Miscarriage of justice mumaidziwa inu?

    Miscarriage of justice was when Rough Ka impregnated that coloured Kanjedza girl… and walked free.

    Miscarriage of justice was when Rough took all his client’s cases to judge Dingiswayo Madise and won all the cases.

    Miscarriage of justice was when Rough was getting bribes from amwenye when he was minister of justice and attorney general.

    Miscarriage of justice was when Rough promised to represent cashgate convict Carol Savala, took her to Mzuzu where judge Madise (now aware that he was being watched ) declined to handle the case, F*** her,and ran away from her case!

    Miscarriage of justice is where Rough has been f***** all the anonymous pretty girls and giving them the same!
    Miscarriage of justice is Rough ……

    1. WODYA ZICHECHE says:

      Iwe palibe za Atumbuka apa! For heaven’s sake, Ralph is Tonga – not Tumbuka! Siyani baba maganizidwe opeperawo; palibe mtumbuka akubakira Kasambara based on tribe here! Amene akumubakira akupanga zimenezo based on other factors – not tribe! Chonde aMalawi tiyeni tichepetse tribalism chondeeee

  7. Katapwito says:

    Anzake a Ralph mwagundika kulemba ndowe apa mumafuna Judge Mtambo amutulutse kuti not guilty nde mukanakondwa?. Kaya bola wamangidwa nanga mpaka kufuna kupha? Akavale za white basi. Ana apume kunyengedwa mtown mu.

  8. Mwana Nyungwe says:

    Right from the beggining Mtambo showed that He was against Kasambala and I wonder though with my little learning of law this can be called a fair judgement because during cross examination of the case on number of occasion government has been failing to prove their cave now what evidence did Mtambo use

    1. Karroti says:

      Jugde indeed has personal hatred against RK. Zinaoneka kale mpoyamba pomwe kuti akusowa chifukwa chompezera Ralph. He has been compromised indeed but someday……oneday……it will go back to him.

      1. Kasambara says:

        Kodi ndinu able ake? Musatinyase akafekele ku nde nde komweko matama too much is he the only educated person in malawi zitsiru nonse

        1. Trump says:

          First night, so far, well spent at Maula. An appeal process at the Supreme Court will take some months while he’s languishing in a cold, stinking cell, full of starving mosquitoes.

        2. inutu mukudzitcha a Kasambara nsanje yakula i suppose yosakanikira ndi umphawi< adakunyengerani mkazi kapena kasambarayo, umphawiwu ngati simuutengera bwino ukutengerani kulichete mwachangu, kkkkkk

  9. Eluby Chikopa says:

    I had a time to watch and listen carefully. Here are some questions worth exploring:-

    1. When was Kasambara arrested? It was in 2013 when he was PP Minister and Attorney General. Do you think the then President and others could have ill intent on him kuti amuveke chinyau basi?

    2. Frequency of calls – this is solid evidence of committing a crime. Inu okwatira apa mkazi panyumba amagwira chibwezi based on the frequency of the calls/SMSs and time the calls/SMSs. The trio has failed to tell the court why they were in communicado.

    3. Fisi akagwa mmbuna sayankhula. Raphael could have done better by hiring a lawyer who could be chewing facts and be little emotion. They are times when you have to seek help. His communication with the duo while amidst top foreign government officials smells rat. How many SMSs did he send to his wife or concubines amidst foreign dignitaries?

    4. The issue of money found with Kumwembe was not resolved. What went wrong?

    We are mortal and our days are numbered. We tend to want more as our hearts are never fulfilled. Born in the village and ending up with so many wealth but never satisfied. We enter the world naked and with nothing and so shall we depart. Good luck on appeal.

  10. Sasamba says:

    law expert? why is hiding akuopachani?

    1. JIJO says:

      My question exactly!

      1. Dilawo says:

        It’s normal. Even yourself, that’s not your real name

    2. Trump says:

      Law Expert? Law Analysis? My foot!!!! This is a nyasatimes reporter masquerading as a law expert. That’s what reporters and editors say when they want to starch in their opinions in a story.

      The State has provided unchallenged evidence to the court which is too sensitive and too early to disclose as it relates to the cashgate cases as it may pre-empt further evidence in the related cashgate cases.

  11. The Analyst says:

    If there is a bunch of strange people, then most Malawians are . . .
    . . . this Kasambara and friends in crime amaba ndalama zathu, nkumagawana ndi mphwiyo and pogawana anachenjeretsana, nkuopsezana kuti “we shall see”, “we shall see.”
    . . . what followed from these “we shall see” words was an attempt on Mphwiyo’s life.
    . . . Luckily, God saved Mphwiyo’s life at such a close-range-gun-shot; so that he could live to tell it all.
    . . . Mphwiyo managed to recall and relate the events and identify the people.
    Now, can anybody, in the right frame of mind, feel sorry when such people are convicted?
    . . . Or, do people think that Kasambara and friends were just mentioned at random? Let’s wake up a Malawi!
    . . . a Malawi ndife anthu odabwitsa kwambiri!!
    And its foolhardy for Kasambara or anyone to assume that the ruling will be different at the Supreme Court.
    . . . in such a high profile case as this one – involving one of the most wanted and hated lawyers in Malawi – the judges will not want to contradict hence embarrass each other.
    . . . Thus, they will certainly connive; and may already have done so.
    Ralph should know that he was just too smart for his own good. Too busy, finding himself almost in everything.
    . . . And there is aways a limit to which one can be smart. And the time and limit is now!

    1. Nkhani says:

      I am convinced, this guy was everywhere for nothing! Its high time for others to learn something from this, i appreciate the Analyst!

    2. Dilawo says:

      Mr Analyst zalowa nsanje. Mwina mumadana naye mnzanu akamaoneka akunyauda pa town. RK might have done it but there is no evidence – simple

      1. Iwe ukuzitcha Dilawo wandimaliza heavy, anthuwa akuphatikiza nkhanizi ndi nsanje komanso umphawi wawo kkkkk

    3. ManoRo says:

      I agree with you, The Analyst. However, I think you have too kind words (anthu odabwitsa) for us. Do you really think that we, Malawians, deserve such kind words like “a Malawi ndife anthu odabwitsa kwambiri”? Is this really kudabwitsa or being imbeciles? Actually imbeciles even think better than Malawians. I don’t think imbeciles can shield and sympathize with criminals. Malawians are just monkeys or hyenas.

      1. The Analyst says:

        You are right
        . . . In fact, I was at pains to avoid the word “stupid”; but truth is, most Malawians are stupid.

  12. Chilungamo-gate says:

    The problem here is tribalism. Until that day we all see each other as Malawians, that’s when we can expect just judiciary in Malawi.

  13. Brown Ted QC says:

    Honestly, this case from both laity and expert on law is a clear miscarriage of justice and a punishment inflicted on the defendant for personal reasons. I have been following the case thorough being an expert on criminology, I found the learned judge to have personalized the ruling for reasons well known to himself. If an appeal will be made and the supreme court judge will look at facts and law, RK will be acquitted.

    1. shupi says:

      Indeed Mtambo has grudges againts Ralph. We have been following the case but there is no evidence that Ralph had a hand in the shooting. What about Mphwiyo himself?

  14. miscer says:

    The whole judge mtambo convicting kasambara you must be used by Dpp gurus.Amalawi where are we going anzathu awone zokhoma chifukwa tadana nawo.

    1. Alfred Minjo says:

      Kodi nanunso a Mincer, lawyer wanuyo anamangidwa nthawi ya DPP or PP? Chiri chonse DPP basi….wanyatu lero..nonse ndi anthu akupha okhaokha. Chauta ngwankulu ndithu amapereka bvumbulutso lomwe aliyense samaliyembekezera mwamva…….

      1. Nanu a Alfred Minjo palinso zomukhudza mulungu apa, izi ndi za ma mafia okhaokha kodi Mulungu mumaona ngati ndi nzanu eti, nkhani za nsete ngati izi osamuphatikiza big man

  15. spectator says:

    Mlandu umenewu wandikumbusa wa Olton Chirwa pa traditional court pa Soche. Ngati anapangadi zimene akunena a Mtambo Akasambara akathidwe ndithu. Koma ngati akuwanamizira. a Mtambo ndi mai Kachale chiwapeza chimwekumweku chigamulo chake olakwa alangidwe.

  16. Hola Mwalwanda says:

    Kasambala analemba yekha izi poona kuti amangidwa ndikmuuza mkazi wake Maggie kuti aiposite articleyi pa Nyasa akalowa kuchitokosi. Ife siana obadwatu lero. Munthuyu wazunza miyoyo yawanthu pa Malawi pano. Well done Judge Mtambo. Man of the Year.

    1. JIJO says:

      He he he he

    2. maleta says:

      wazonza anthu ake ndani and in what way?

    3. mike says:

      A Hola mudzaziona……leave Maggie completely alone, where is the evidence? . Nsanje basi. We have been following this and there is no evidence at all that RK had a hand. If he indeed had a hand koma palibe umboni. Remember the NRC student case , he was beaten by police in the cell and died but the officers were released for lack of evidence. So even Mphwiyo himself didnt recognise anyone at his gate. Kulira ndi umphawi a mwalwanda.

  17. VYOTO says:

    The case and trial was understandably very emotional and one could read between the lines that Judge Mtambo brought some personal issues with Kasambara into the case, as a result, Mtambo’s judgement has been compromised based on the evidence that was provided in court. Going forward, the appeal might end in favour of Kasambara if heard by some of the ever objective and analytical judges at the Supreme court of appeal, the likes of Dunstan Mwaungulu.All in all, reading between lines, one can tell that indeed Kasambara and Team had issues with the corrupt Paul Mphwiyo but in court of law what matters is availability of not just some evidence but evidence that proves a case beyond ” reasonable doubt”.Through this case though, very good lessons have been drawn for those corrupt characters in the civil service that gone are the days when people could steal Government money and say “boma silimangangisa wamba” who knows who will be next to be shot the Mphwiyo way? We still have the greedy and selfish characters amongst us at the same time we also have the courageous characters who can use the gun to eliminate the greedy and selfish ones?

    1. francis says:

      Very true. Mtambo was compromised……..

  18. china says:


  19. Mufwa says:

    The so called Law expert is useless. Why is he hiding to disclose his identity? I am very sure he is not a Lawyer by profession. He is a political commentator.

  20. Ine zisandikhudze amangwetu

  21. Disan says:

    Kasambara. Be strong. U will come out alive. I will pray for you! We know why they have made such ruling. God have mercy on them!

    1. Vincent says:

      This is a clear indication of miscarrieage od justice, RK please appeal and the real justice will prevail. The so called judge Mtambo is comprimised that’s why i do fuck her daughter Wanangwa plain without chishango, she is dead as her father.

  22. Petre Mathanyula says:

    Ng’oma yolira kwambiri siichedwa kung’ambika.

  23. Sasani says:

    let justice prevail

  24. Piche Yakiti says:

    What qualifies one to be a law expert? In the final analysis, this is his opinion. If you ask other law ‘experts’ they will tell you the judgement is fair. Let us see what comes out from the appeal.

  25. Gogo Bisani says:

    Even me as a lay person do not see enough evidence for someone to go to jail. An appeal will definitely change the conviction

    1. Kunyinda says:

      Akalowe awa nthawi yakwAna

  26. Trendex says:


    1. Kunyinda says:

      Mwalira mokuwa ntu!

  27. Disan says:

    Anthu akufuna moyo wake uchoke basi! Zamanyazi. Mulibe fundo

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