Law professor queries Attorney General over cashgate

Malawian professor of law, Danwood Chirwa, has faulted Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale over alleged undue interference with the work of the investigative and prosecutorial agencies in relation to cashgate cases.

Attorney General Kaphale: Faulted

Attorney General Kaphale: Faulted

Prof Chirwa: Faults Kaphale

Prof Chirwa: Faults Kaphale

Kaphale has been facing criticism in some sections of the media and social media on allegations that he was interfering with Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) in their operations as regards cashgate crackdown.

Chirwa, a professor of law at the prestigious University of Cape Town in South Africa, said the media reports against the top government lawyer “seem to have a ring of truth,”  judging from the utterances of Kaphale himself.

The law scholar said noted reports that quote Attorney General making “dubious comments” on the cashgate report.

Attorney General has previously been reported to have said that he demands updates from the prosecutorial agencies. There is also some evidence that some of his purported interferences have been sternly opposed by the Anti-Corruption Bureau authorities.

“My understanding is that the Attorney General has no mandate whatsoever in criminal prosecutions and investigations,” said Chirwa in comments emailed to Nyasa Times.

He added: “This is why we see the A-G appearing for government in civil cases only.”

He observed that some previous Attorneys General entangled themselves in these activities is due to “their own misplaced enthusiasm, lack of appreciation of their job description and lack of professionalism and due to the docility of the leadership of the prosecutorial agencies.”

Chirwa said Kaphale – as a top notch lawyer in Malawi – was expected to restore honour and decorum to the office of head of the legal bar “which it has long lost.”

Stated Chirwa: “The A-G’s primary and only job is to serve as the principal legal adviser to the government. This constitutional mandate has to be discharged professionally and independently.”

The law expert added: “It is in fact a ground for the dismissal of an Attorney General that he or she is compromised in his or her performance of this function. The only role that the A-G has in prosecutions relates to the general and special directions he may give to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

“The literature on this role suggests that the A-G cannot comment or give directions on specific cases the DPP (is prosecuting. His directions are also not binding and must not impair the independence of the DPP. His office is clearly not superior to the DPP. He’s not the boss! As far as the ACB is concerned there is no such relationship, tenuous as it already is with respect to the DPP, with the A-G.”

Chirwa further explained: “Even if the A-G had any authority over the ACB and the DPP, his involvement as counsel for accused persons in cashgate cases preclude him from doing and saying anything relating to cashgate. I have already commented on this simple ethical responsibility. For his, however, it is explicitly referred to in the constitution. He is supposed to delegate his authority to advise the government on cashgate to other people at the Ministry of Justice as the constitution clearly expects.”

The law scholar commended ACB deputy director Reyneck Matemba for the work he and his colleagues are doing in crackdown to corruption and that they need strong public support.

“For the first time we have someone with the right frame of mind and professionalism who understands his job and is prepared to guard his independence,” Chirwa said in praise of Matemba.

He said Matemba and the ACB face an “uphill battle”, saying the number of the accused and suspects is too high, and some of them have the wherewithal to threaten his life or use political means to swing public opinion against him and his colleagues.

“The enormity of the task is such that he cannot afford petty power struggles with the A-G. On the contrary, he needs the support of the A-G. Needless to point out that it is in fact good politically and intrinsically for this government to effectively and competently investigate and prosecute all cashgate cases,” stated Chirwa.

Chirwa recently also faulted Malawi Law Society (MLS) for failing to uphold the legal profession that respects minimum standards of integrity and ethical behaviour by letting lawyers answering criminal charges to continue representing clients in court.

Currently, lawyers answering criminal charges and representing clients on the same are private practice lawyers Ralph Kasambara (Senior Counsel) and Wapona Kita.

The two are being co-accused in conspiracy, possession of property suspected to have been stolen amounting to K55 million and money laundering, but at the same time they are also representing their clients in similar cases.

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48 thoughts on “Law professor queries Attorney General over cashgate”

  1. Kalanga says:

    Wamuwona bwanji kuti ndiwosasamba! Koma iwe learn to respect humanity!

  2. kulyolyopera says:

    zomwezi mpaka kutchula dzina la Yesu respect our savior please

  3. Livulezi river says:

    Is Raphael Kasambara a “Senior Councel” or a “Silly Councel”? By the way, inu a BOMA musatengere a Malawi kokayesa for taking them for granted mwavaaaaaaa?????? Mwaiwala nthawi yomweyi how people revolted against Bingu ???? A ndale kusachedwa kuiwala bwanjii? We are watching your films during this whole period of cash gate case you are playing around with us!! It’s only one day Malawians will act. Mine is just a warning!!! Musamale!!!!

  4. Victor Phiri says:

    Mlr Kaphale do not lose your integrity and high professionalism.
    You are disappointing us. We expected you to bring glory to the office.

  5. Yobe boo says:

    KALEKENI KAPHARE MUST BE IMMEDIATELY FIRED. IF HE MAY CONTINUE AS AG, ITS BECAUSE HE IS FROM THE SOUTH, AND BACKED BY MLAKHO GOVERNMENT. VERY UNFAIR INDEED. HE HAS PROVED TOTALLY INCOMPETENT. HE MUST GO!!!! GO!!! GO!!! GO!!!!

  6. fedrevolution says:

    Chancellor college based Judicial system at work and if youve met a chanco bus you just know the type of lawyers

  7. collins says:

    division of labour is paramount in this society,help and do not let it down understaanding and peace of a common mind.

  8. TSAKHO LIMENELO says:

    President Peter Mutharika appointed incompetent ATTORNEY GENERAL who doesn’t know what and where to exercise his legal competency. Remember attorney general is just normal civil servant whos has got NO NO NO power or mandate of interfering with CRIMINAL CASE or criminal procedings.

    All atterneys are appearing only in lower courts ( regional or magistrates courts ) or in CIVIL CASES , attorney general cunduct deserve dismissal as you are totally WRONG in this instance and you should know if Malawi Law Society failed you please note we will take you down as individual member of the society.

    THIS IS NOT TIME OF Dr Kamuzu Banda ankatipondeleza as this is NEW MALAWI we are watching you.

  9. VYOTO says:

    AS A MATTER OF FACT, ONE DOES NOT HAVE TO BE A LAWYER TO RECOGNIZE THE FACT THAT KALEKENI KAPHALE’S INDEPENDENCE OVER ACB CASH GATE CASES IS GREATLY COMPROMISED BY VIRTUE OF THE FACT THAT MOST OF CASH GATERS ARE CLIENTS OF HIS LAW FIRM.IT IS MY CONSIDERED VIEW AS WELL THAT KALEKENI KAPHALE IS JUST AS BAD AS RALPH KASAMBALA, THE ONLY DIFFERENCE MAY BE IS THAT THE FORMER IS A LOMWE FROM THE SOUTH WHILE THE LATER IS A TONGA FROM THE NORTH.LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, DOES THE LEARNED PETER MUTHALIKA HAVE TO WAIT FOR A SIMILAR CASE OF MPHWIYO/KASAMBALA TO FIRE KALEKENI KAPHALE AS JOYCE BANDA DID ????????????????????????????????AND IF KALEKENI KAPHALE IS JUST A BAD AS RALPH KASAMBALA THEN THE LEARNED PROFESSOR MUST BE WORSE THAN MADAM JOYCE BANDA BECAUSE HE (THE PROFESSOR) MUST HAVE LEARNED FROM THE VERY IMMEDIATE PAST CASES.

    1. Kavunga says:

      Kodi Mtumbuka iwe nkhani ya mitundu yalowanso bwanji apa? Who told you Kaphale is Lomwe? Kaphale is Yao not lomwe and you should learn to comment on the context of the matter at hand not zachi fedulo zakozo, wamva Mtumbuka wosasamba iwe?

  10. Nic says:

    Shame on MLS. The law fraternity is full of criminals defending other criminals. No ethics among the law profession!

  11. Kenkkk says:

    Personally, what else or more can I say about Kalekeni K? The whole blame lies with APM and his dpp govt for appointing this man KK.

    Now we malawians believe he was appointed to deliberately interfere and derail the whole cashgate, protect alleged APM scandal on Malawi housing and the alleged 90bn thieving of the previous dpp govt.

    With all his blundering and interfering, APM should by now have sacked KK to instil some credibility and seriousness into the cashgate saga.

  12. Vyapasi says:

    I would like to highlight the issue of “ETHICS” or “MINIMUM STANDARDS” that I indeed find so intriguing. Only in AFRICA I guess. All cashgate cases are criminal in nature and therefore no two ways about them. The accused Lawyers cannot represent supposedly fellow accused. Something has to be clarified here. Otherwise the judicial system is setting a very bad precedence. A dead person cannot represent a fellow dead person unless both resurrect and are ascertained of sound health and right mind frame. Not even Zombies would do that. Wake up Malawi!!!

  13. chatonda says:

    This is exactly what lawyers have quiried all along. Why interfering with other independent systems of the government? What is his interest? After all, his duties are not above all other government legal institution.
    He MUST BE FIRED FORTHWITH if government is serious about uprooting corruption in Malawi. He is a beneficiary in cash or kind and he knows better.
    He is not above the law and his institution must concentrate on his specific roles and not the roles of others.

    The world is watching.

  14. Big brain says:

    Atumbuka nsanje mzanu Ali paudindo

    Iwe professor Wakuti kodi keep quite with ur cheap utterances

    1. Kenkkk says:

      Big brain, your name is a misnomer. It should be small brain. This has nothing to do with tumbukas or tribalism. Most comments here are coming from Malawians everywhere!!!

      If you really know about justice or chilungamo, you will see clearly kalekeni’s blunders as most of Malawians already have seen. Please stop deliberately making yourself blind!!!

      Cash gate is a very serious issue!!! Please don’t tribalise it.

    2. mboma says:

      southerners love shortcuts, this guy is a clear example of how he love shortcuts!!! mind u this small professor isa professor not of Stupid UNIMA but University of capetown

  15. Lake Malawi says:

    Well said Prof. Chirwa

  16. silent cashgater says:

    kodi ine ndimangomva “lawyer lawyer” daily. law ya pa chanco mumayiwerengela kuti ndi law? they have no idea what they are doing. amenewa ndi chimodzi modzi a “engineering” a pa poly, 50 years of graduates, no single invention while we import simple machines like treadle pumps zimene ana aku primary school ku japan amapanga ngati project. kumangodikila rainy season kuti mumate ma pothole ndi kupanga ngalande msewu weni weni atalima azungu obwera. amvekere “ndinapanga civil”

    i’ve yet to see anyone worth the title lawyer in this country. timilandu tongogwirizana ndi judge kuti awine wakuti tigawane mpamba. shit

  17. Phwitiko says:

    People must take active role in rooting out these bunch of thieves called politicians by burning their houses & businesses & voting in new people. The old recycled politicians are all thieves

  18. Cashgate 1 says:

    Ma Lawyer a Cashgate okhaokhawo. The have so many bones in their closest and they need to protect them.

  19. kila says:

    Yes people like Reyneck Matemba,(a felloe yearo 95) need to be commended for the professionalism they have shown so far.Reyneck and your team keep doing the good job.Mulungu wakumwamba akuwona.may God bless you guys and give you the wisdom and insights to do your job.

  20. Abiti Mtila says:

    Kaphale is frustrated after his client Tereza Namathanga was given a custodial sentence. He thought by entering into a guility plea, Namathanga who has been Kaphale’s client all along thought the courts would give her a suspended sentence so that he should still be rewarded for his defence. He was also a a lawyer for Sithole. He is doing this because he is being given money by the Cash gaters!

  21. Nkasai says:

    The President should take note of this and act appropriately on this advice .It is such type of things that will unmake his presidency .Kaphale should voluntarily resign before more damage is done!Kasambala and his friends should not represent cash gate cases as they are interested parties!I am no authority at law but I discern sense in what The prof is saying! APM do not throw away my vote come 2019!

  22. Zankutu says:

    Nothing wrong with the AG clarifying payments Baker Tilly was asked to investigate but are not part of cash-gate. Read the report for once

    1. Kenkkk says:

      Zankutu, we are talking here about the wider cash gate issues which KK is blundering all over. Even his explanation on baker Tilly report is also blundering and incompetent!! There is absolutely nothing right that he has done, apart from shaming the office of AG.

  23. chinkombaleza gumanyundo gowa says:

    Mwinana a Malawi angamaphunzileho zina. Zimatidabwitsa ife kuti kodi malamulo athu chifukwa chiani amakolanakolana. Now because our laws have been known to contain a lot of loop holes lets not take advantage let only justice to prevail. Otherwise justice in judicial sector in Malawi is a failure.

  24. fisi Gammar says:

    Amalawi taonani mmene apangira azathu ku Burkina ife tilipheeeeeeeeeeeeee

  25. mr chimbwititi says:

    bwana chirw akunena zoona akaphale akulowelela kwambili.tisaiwale kuti pajatu ndi aloya a anthu okhuzidwa ndi cashgate

  26. Hope Banda says:

    Mob justice is evil. We have the Judiciary

  27. Masosmbeta says:

    Malawi has no code of conduct in most of its establishments.
    This is because either people do not understand their terms of reference, or that they have instrisic lack of their prudence as professionals.
    Lawyers in Malawi primarily serve their personal interests – professional interests become third.
    My thinking is that Kaphale himself does not understand what his position requires- as many other lawyers and judges don’t.
    Even APM himself a law professor is sitting idelby without “whipping the bull back into its towing position”

  28. education says:

    No 1 that’s childish. Don’t instigate violence.

  29. Desire says:

    Tichedweranji. Kuyambira president mbava kukhala ngati sitikuziwa bwanji. Angopemhera kuti asazaluze 2019 chifukwa za from 2005 azayankhanso bola asakayendere wheel chair nthawi yimeneyo

  30. This AG is really overzealous. ACB have just started their working on these cases, here he is, already making some shaddy comments on the culprits. Is he directing ACB on what should be done or that the ACB doesn’t know the proceedures to take? All we need here is our money, no need of shielding friends here!!

  31. federism will be safe way to avoid the same mistake because the state funds will be traced accordingly

  32. Timonthy says:

    Malawian comedy, so rich with content. The AG who was once a cashgate thieves defender.. LOL…

  33. sibweni says:

    Looks like Danwood is the only lawyer to stand up against the rot in the legal profession in Malawi.

    The rest are manyukunyuku or madeya.

  34. Quota system says:

    That’s Malawi politics

  35. America says:

    atumbuka kwanu ndikususa basi koma ndiye munya nayotu chifukwa choti muziwe dpp izalamulira mpaka yesu azabwele

    1. mboma says:

      even if DPP rule untill jesus comes, what matter is has the polverty among lomwes ended????? no their polverty will never end untill jesus comes, it just coicidence that most lomwes work as tobbaco tenants down north????????

  36. salimu says:

    Chirwa come and stand in court lets see how good you are. Those are just theories real lawyers oractice their trade and battle it out in court. Taking cashgate cases is just a job and real lawyers should not be afraid of defending anybody no matter the severity of cases. KK is a competent lawyer tested and tried.

  37. moya says:

    Its only in Malawi where thiefs are allowed to defend fellow thiefs in a court of law and it’s legal, chairperson of Malawi law society, chief justice where are u? don’t let history judge you for sitting “phwi” and allowing the accused lawyers practice freely. suspend them until they clear their names.

  38. khakhakha says:

    Waphalira munganya! Kwali mwekha apo..

  39. Mob Justice basi says:

    What would you expect from a man who only 4 months ago was at center of defending half of cashgate thieves? Having taken advance payment and eaten it, he will continue defending them. APM is ether a first class crown to have appointed this AG or he is cunning enough to know this AG would protect his (APMs) own thefts a.k.a Malawi housing scandal and 90 Billion theft. If we do not rise up and torch the parliament building and the state house as people in Burkina Faso have done, these crooks will continue chopping our monies. Ball is in our hands.

    1. l says:

      Abale muchoke kukaya kukawotcha parliament. I would second mob justicing one of the cashgate thieves though simbava basi.

    2. yaa! u r right,lets protect our money

    3. madona says:

      iwe Mob justice basi, who do u think will suffer if you torch down the parliament building?? you Malawians are pathetic mumandimvesa chisoni nthawi zina. you want to use your emotions wantonly. anthu achifundo (the Chinese) built you that structure lero you are advocating it should be burnt down due to cashgate issues, zikugwilizana?? the Burkinabes built that parliament on their own, their economy is way far better from Malawi’s and they will build another masterpiece just soon. inu muotche ka parliament kanuko you will go back to zomba parliament, kkkkkk. za zii, munthu wamkulu ngati iwe mmalo moti uziwauza amzako zanzeru ungamalembe zopusa ngati zimenezi

      1. yes says:

        Yes I say we burn all of those cashgate suspects houses eeyah!!!

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