Malawi’s former Justice Minister Ralph Kasambara, one of the suspects in the shooting of former Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo, has quashed High Court Judge Michael Mtambo assertions that following the shooting cashgate affair was discovered.
In his submission seeking the judge to recuse himself from the case, accusing him of bias, Kasambara a prominent lawyer defending himself, faulted the learned Judge for introducing into the case “extraneous information” which he said is “prejudicial but inadmissible” that only gives rise to apprehension of bias.
According to Kasambara, Judge Mtambo introduces cashgate scandal into the shooting case when he writes: “Mr. Paul Mphwiyo, at the material time Budget Director in the Ministry of Finance, was shot at the gate of his house in Area 43 Lilongwe after 11 p.m. on the 13th September 2013. There were several attackers that approached him before being shot by one who was slim and tall and wearing a hood. This attack led to the revelation of wanton looting of public funds dubbed the cashgate scandal.”
Kasambara submitted that Mphwiyo’s shooting “did not lead to revelation of cashgate.”
He argues that the Anti-Corruption Bureau is on record that they already received information of cashgate looting on 11th September, 2013.
Apparently, the arrest of accounts assistant Victor Sithole – currently serving nine years in jail with hard labour for his part in the “cashgate” corruption scandal – in August 2013 kick-started what became known as the “cashgate” affair – the worst financial scandal in the country’s history.
It became public knowledge a month later following the shooting of Mphwiyo.
“So where did the Judge get this wrong information?” wondered Kasambara.
He adds: “And why did he exercise the journalistic licence of introducing such extraneous prejudicial evidence into the case especially when [Kasambara] was a politician and a serving Cabinet Minister at the time of Paul Mphwiyo’s shooting”
Kasambara states that the reasoning of the judge “becomes apparent when one considers a follow up extraneous prejudicial information again manufactured by the Judge disputing the legal position and factual position.”
Instead, Kasambara argues that the Judge introduces his own theories of the case of cash.
“First, he subtly suggests that this case had something to do with the infamous Capital Hill cashgate undoubtedly, the trial Judge has taken an active interventionist role in the proceedings,” argues Kasambara.
“He has simply descended into the arena and assumed the role of the prosecution advocate.
“The State theory was that Mphwiyo was attacked because he refused to pay favoured companies of the 4th Accused (Kasambara) The Judge does not believe that as it is not supported by any evidence. Instead the Judge embarks on his own voyage of discovery of a theory to support conviction of the 4th Accused person,” reads the arguments filed in court.
Judge Mtambo ruled Kasambara, Pika Manondo and McDonald Kumwembe have a case to answer on the attempted assassination of Mphwiyo.
Mtambo ruled that the evidence tendered by the state had proved a prima facie case against the accused persons.
The judge, 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.
Meanwhile, Judge Mtambo has refused to recuse himself from the case, dismissing the bias accusations as fallacious.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :