Mphwiyo assailants used weaker gun, says Dr Valera: Malawi Cashgate

Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) head surgeon Dr Carlos Valera said the assailant who shot former Budget Director Paul Mphwiyo might have used a weaker gun in their attempted murder plot.

Gun-shot survivor Mphwiyo

Gun-shot survivor Mphwiyo

Valera, who is the sixth state prosecution witness, told the court, presided over by Justice Michael Mtambo, when he was testifying in court on Wednesday.

Two bullets hit Mphwiyo in the mandible and another went through his shoulder to his chest. One bullet was removed in a South African hospital but two others – lodged in his spinal column – will remain inside the 38-year-old for the rest of his life.

State prosecutor Enock Chibwana had asked Valera to explain the different entry points of the bullets.

“In my suggestion, I think the first bullet hit the victim just next the mouth because he was facing the assailants, the second one hit him on the jaws because he was facing forward and the third  one hit him in the armpit as he was shielding his face with the hand,” Valera told the court.

“I believe he survived maybe because the gun used was weak or his body is strong,” said Valera.

However, when Chibwana asked the experienced surgeon to describe the type of the gun, defence lawyers Ralph Kasambara (also an accused in the case) and John Gift Mwakhwawa objected, saying the witness has no expertise in weapons.

Justice Michael Ntambo sustained the objection.

During cross examination, Mwakhwawa asked if it is possible that apart from weak weapon and strong body, it might also be that distance played a role to save Mphwiyo, a notion which Valera denied.

Mphwiyo’s shooting unravelled ‘cashgate’ and the resultant discovery that up to K22 billion was minted from the government payment system, where politicians and businessmen colluded with civil servants for payments for goods and services not rendered to government.

Malawi government is investigating the disappearance of about K22 billion from 2012 to 2014, and there is also an outcry to probe the K92 billion during the rule of former president Bingu wa Mutharika, from 2005 to 2012

Cashgate dates back to 2005 when the Integrated Financial Management and Information System (Ifmis) was launched and Lutepo prominently appears to have  got the second highest payments on the list of individuals amounting to K4.4 billion (US$9.8 million).

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43 thoughts on “Mphwiyo assailants used weaker gun, says Dr Valera: Malawi Cashgate”

  1. NOVILIKANA says:

    vasuzgatu apa manyi vitonekenge vekha apo vitimalulenge

  2. steven says:

    Have you red kasambara’s maid testimony? Kasa… is involved tifuniranjinso umboni wina wantchito atawulura zooopsa za patsiku limenelo.dyly * of 19 feb.15

  3. Cathy says:

    I do agree with the doctor the ammo was weak had it been a 9 mm upwards tikanamva zina

  4. EYE WITNESSES says:

    Dr Valera if a fool. What Kasambala has said is true. He is a mere surgeon and has no expertise in weaponry. Only a ballistic expert would ascetain that. The evidence being given will set the acused free because its not so incriminating. Even in the western countries they rely on confession of the acused or forensic science or catching the acused in action. Not of that happened and it might concluded to be guess work.



  6. Pita Munthalikha says:

    Mukangolora kuti uyu Kasambala apulumuke, muzafa imfa ya mphenzi.

  7. peter says:

    Winawake zamupweteka mene Dr Valera anena kuti a weaker gun could have been used and denied that the wounds could be caused by a long range shooting! La 40 likakwana kamakupha ndi kanthu kopusa!!

  8. Hebrews says:

    Its a matter of time! Kasambara his days are numbered! If not this murder case, then Cashgate if not then money laundering! The devil is waiting for Kasambara at the gate of Maula Prison. Once sentenced there is nothing like BP or sugar. Is Prison with hard labour!

  9. chindere says:


  10. Makape says:

    Iwe no31 ine si supporter wa Kasambara. I am just a keen follower of the case. I know how courts work. I have gone through it. Iwe ndi mbuzi you think courts work on hatred?

  11. Piche Yakiti says:

    Iwe number 16 chitsilu ch MUNTHU. Kasambara anatha u crook unamuwononga. Am not sure if you are following this case. Chaka chake ndi chino alowa ameneyu. Kuli ma lawyer ku Malawi kuno osati zongoyendera mainazi wamva

  12. ukubingelera says:

    the witness’s testimony was meant to underscore the premise that mphwiyo had a visual of his assailant. By asking if it was possible that mphwiyo survived bcoz the shooter was far from mphwiyo, the defence want to weaken the state’s theory that mphwiyo saw his attackers. So the whole issue is to establish distance between the shooter and the victim, and whether in that distance the victim was able to see & recognise the victim. because among other evidence that the accused was part of this saga is that the victim saw them.

  13. nyolokan says:

    The learned no a expert in ballistics and therefore the judge erorred in allowing him o assert that the distance between the shooter and the victim as the same can in part be measured by the GUN POWDER RESIDUE which Dr Valera can not evaluate.

  14. weak weapon and strong body what do it do with cashgate.

  15. Malindima says:

    I don’t think the Doctor testified as a Ballistic expert. He focused on the wounds that did not cause death perhaps due to a weak gun or a strong body. If it was a strong gun say AK 47, it could have ripped the mandible apart causing instant death.There is no doubt that by offloading three bullets to Mphiyos body, the assailant had an intention to kill leaving no chance for him to survive. But…….a weak gun was used and or a strong body resisted!

  16. Kokotowa says:

    Mandible=Nsagwada. Kikiki! Anamuzuzundula sagwada!

    1. Chief says:

      Plz, ndaiwala nsagwada ndi chiani?

  17. kwangu says:

    As a Surgeon you learn about all types of wounds and what causes them and surely that inckude ballistics. Listen from the Doctor, he was trained in RSA where gun wounds was a daily occurence. Even here in USA Surgeon’s testimmony on these issues is respected.

  18. Swiswiri Mbewa says:

    Dr Valera not an expert in weapons like guns (fact).

  19. Wokomaatani says:

    Mbava zimenezi including Mphwiyo can be equal to Islamic State, Boko Haram and Al Shabaab. The Muthalikas are thieves too. What is Joyce Banda doing in America all this time? Why is Bakili Muluzi free? Malawi has been in the hands of leaders that can be equalled to IS since 1994.

  20. Sosten Gwengwe says:

    Koma kuyenda ndi ma bullet nthupi ndiye bola so kuyenda ndi kachirombo

  21. mthakati says:

    Indeed what is a” weaker gun”? Was it a .22, or perhaps home made guguda?

  22. mfiti weniweni says:

    am not sure whether to laugh or cry!!??? a weak gun??? a strong body?? is this a qualified state witness knowledgeable about weapons or a school leaver??? Jesus wept! is this CSI or what?? maybe he had strong jaws like a hyena!!??

  23. Khuth'upa o'Machemba says:

    Prosecution asking questions the wrong person, to be sure. The surgeon is NOT a ballistics expert; far from it. He should not be commenting on issues outside his domain; and the defense lawyer(s) should have put a stop to this charade. Or the judge should have intervened on the basis. Or Varela should have just said he didn’t know. But pretending to have answers for everything? And the prosecution: wasting taxpayers’ money!

  24. Hoitty says:

    Dr Valera u gun expert wao ulilpoti amatenga mfuti kumuopyeza mkazi wao mmalo mowopyeza mbava

  25. samarakwa says:

    Why are they discussing about guns,how he was shot,we don’t want that just sentence them,ndi akuba amenewo

  26. Mbanangwa says:

    Playing with Ralph Kasamara will only make the government a fool of herself. Th government has been fooled enough. There is no case to b prosecuted here. Kasambara told you and he is counting hours each day. Close the case and let him free otherwise each day means a lot of tax ayers money.


  28. Proff. Ngangabulawayo says:

    This case will take a decade as it involves big fishes in the lake. Tiyeni nazoni, ena akuvutika mundende chifukwa chakuba nkhuku ya m’bale wawo.

  29. Umaliswe says:

    Sometimes I just feel like all this is a comedy movie that will soon come to an end..

  30. Geoma says:

    Whether one comes clean here, but am sure his or her conscious Will hurt for the rest of his or her Life. Gods création its not something to play with.

  31. victim Chamkhuni Lwazazi says:

    I agree with Mzika ya Lilongwe. Kasambala may come clean out of this case and end up killing next time. He is already enjoying his money. But, God will not let his children suffer for ever because of the killers and cashgators.

  32. Knysna says:

    2005 to 2012 K92Billion plizi chonde ifufuzidwe!!!Iyi ndi Mother Cashgate!

  33. nyonjonjo says:

    Lapani you will have peace

  34. tambwali mchanda says:

    Akunena zoona a doctor. Mufti yeniyeni imati bullet kulowa pa thupi komwe ikutuluka kumakhala ngati kwayasamula. Osati kukanilila thupi ayi

  35. gwaladi says:

    Shame on the assailants.manyazi akugwileni ndithu nanu mudzafa imfa yowawa palibe chitsulo shame on raf

  36. Mayi a Priscilla says:

    Comment No. 1 @ “Mzika ya Lilongwe”, it is so obvious that you are Ralph Kasambara himself . Stop wasting your time boasting about your chances of escaping the hand of justice in this matter over the Internet . This case is in court and it is in court where it will be decided . Your empty words of bravado on the internet will not have any bearing on the outcome of this court case . If I were you, I would start confessing my sins to the Almighty and asking Him to forgive my poor miserable soul .

  37. Makape says:

    Dr valera I think was partisan here. His testimony is not scientific or medical. How does he know the gun was weak when he is not a gun expert himself? The issue could be the gun didnt touch vital parts example brain. Mphwiyo ofcourse is a strong thief. Perhaps valera is also another thief in the same team

  38. Tmc says:

    Stupid issue why taking so long

  39. wankulu says:

    Really Dr. Valera? That is crap of the highest order. Can a well learned person like you suggest that the guy was not killed because the gun used was weak or he is strong? Did you see the wounds? It has nothing to do with both of your suggestions. It is very clear that the bullets did not hit vital points and they were able to go to the hospital quickly. Do you think the guy would have survived if the bullet went through and severed the jugular vein and not rushed to the hospital-even if he is strong? -definitely he would have died of massive blood loss. You pointed out that the shooter may have used a weak gun, come on Mr surgeon! to me it seems the gun did its job only that no vital organ was affected. The gun caused damage to the mandible for sure, but a fractured mandible cannot really cause death especially if you take into consideration the fact that mr. mphwiyo was taken to hospital where they opened his airways and stopped the bleeding before airlifting him to SA.

    1. Kalulu says:

      I agree with you on this one, the surgeon’s reasons are disgrace. Probably he didn’t see it coming. He never prepared to take questions as he was just thinking that it will be one of those witness sessions. But as a specialist, you surely can’t give those “maybe responses”. He should thank kasambara and mwakhwawa for saving him on that objection, he could have been in more troubles.

      Giving witness as a medic in gunshot case is tricky. You need a proper clinical notes and sketches as well. A knowledge of forensics is important. For instance, how do you know that this gunshot wound is an entry or an exit wound. You can’t just guess that he was shot in this order, you have to be sure. How can you tell that this entry wound was caused by a close range shot or a distant shot? The types of wounds appear different due to impact from the bullet and shrapnel. The distribution of gun powder can help you to ascertain the entry and exit sites. Medical imagine, especially CT scan, findings becomes handy. All he could have sed is that I can’t comment on that because am not a gunshot wounds expat, not it was weak gun or strong body. There’s nothing like that In GSW. No one can say he really knows well about bullet tract, it’s a mystery. Thus why we wonder why good pple die with one shot yet evil guys survive multiple gunshots every year.

  40. Dr Mtumbo wapsa says:

    Tawanyongani amene wo

  41. Nzofunika madolo a FBI izi osati medical doctors. FBI can even trace the source of the gun. The other problem in this case is that the state must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the assailants were the ones behind the attack. It could be some other guy who is very quiet. This is not a civil case that works on a balance of probabilities. Ralph Kasambara will come clean in this case.

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