Lutepo tells Manondo ‘you shot Mphwiyo, sent by Kasambara’: Malawi Police arrange their face-to-face talk

Malawi Police Officer Makwinja on Saturday took  Pika Manondo, a key suspect in the shooting of Treasury budget director Paul Mphwiyo, to Zomba  from Lilongwe to have a face-to-face meeting with Osward Lutepo  who has been charged with theft and money laundering to discuss the shooting of the treasury official, Nyasa Times understands.

At the meeting, officier Makwinja asked Lutepo to tell Manondo as to what he had told the police about who he thinks shot Mphwiyo.

In response, Lutepo, said: “I think it is you (Pika) and you were sent by your boss, Ralph Kasambara.”

When Manondo asked him whether he knew that with certainty, Lutepo, said that it was just his suspicion to which Manondo replied:  “You must be very stupid to think that when everyone knows you are the one who is police records as a suspect.”

Lutepo (L) with his lawyer Jai Banda in Zomba

Makwinja then continued to pressure Manondo to turn in Kasambara with several offers but as end of Saturday, Manondo refused to take the blame for Mphwiyo’s shooting in order to implicate Kasambara in exchange for a deal.

Manondo insists he cannot take responsibility for the shooting of the Budget Director when he does not even know who did it.

Earlier, Nyasa Times understands Malawi Police Deputy Inspector General Nelson Bophani tried to persuade Manondo to switch lawyers from John Gift Mwakhwawa  to Jai Banda .

Manondo turned down Bophani’s offer, saying he may consider the offer to use Banda, a renowned music promoter, if he starts playing music.

Alfred Jai Banda is representing Lutepo, who despite having been named in a sworn affidavit by a hired ‘hit man’  on remand as having been the one who put the hit on Mphwiyo, has had his charges reduced to simple money laundering.

Until he handed himself to the police earlier this week, both Lutepo and Manondo were on Malawi Police and Interpol’ Most Wanted’ list for Mphwiyo’s attempted murder.

Lutepo is awaiting his bail judgement scheduled for Tuesday.

The 37-year-old budget director, Mphwiyo, was shot as he drove into his residence in a suburb of Lilongwe. Banda said the shooting was linked to his campaign against corruption in state institutions.

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