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.
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).Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :