The State through Director of Public Prosecution Mary Kachale on Wednesday applied to court to revoke bail for suspects in the shooting of former Director of Finance Paul Mphwiyo after accusing the defence of employing ‘mafia-like operations’ to intimidate State witnesses.
Former minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Ralph Kasambara is charged with attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder alongside Macdonald Kumwembe who Mphwiyo identified as the shooter, Dauka Manondo, Pika Manondo, Robert Kadzuwa and businessperson Osward Lutepo.Lutepo is yet to enter his plea while the other suspects have pleaded not guilty.
The application for bail to be revoked was made through affidavits sworn by state prosecutor Ecock Chihana and Senior Superintendent Kampara Chilinda who were asked to meet two state witnesses who alleged there was a “mafia clandestine” activity to inflict interference and intimidation on state witnesses.
Upon hearing their submissions, the state was very convinced that the accused have had a hand in intimidation and interference in state witness.
She submitted that one of the state witnesses Charles Chaluma asked the state to transfer him and his family to Mangochi.
Before the state had made a decision, the story was written on Nyasa Times even though the state did not give the information to anyone.
Kachale submitted that the two confided to the state that there are some people who are forcing them to give contradictory statements in direct reference to the caused.
Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mary Kachale said in Lilongwe yesterday: “It is in the considered opinion of the State that the circumstances we are facing can best be described as peculiar. We might not be experts of mafia-like operations, but it looks like we are dealing with mafia-like operations.”
She presented to the court a four hour recording of the discussion the state had with the witnesses.
However, one of the defence lawyer Gift Mwakhwawa objected that the recording could not stand as part of the evidence to be tendered to the court.
He said the recording is not reliable evidence.
Judge Michael Mtambo reserved his ruling saying he will do so after both parties have responded.
Before the court adjourned to Thursday morning, Kasambara told the court that the state was harassing his wife and relatives.
He said police officer Alexander Phiri called his wife and brother-in-law threatening them to implicate Kasambara in the case.
“Your Lordship, the state should desist from this nonsense of intimidating and harassing my wife and relations,” said a visibly angry Kasambara.
Presiding judge in the Paul Mphwiyo shooting trial, Michael Mtambo, says he would like to pass judgement by May this year and has warned prosecutors and defence lawyers against unnecessary delays.
Meanwhile, Justice Mtambo has revoked bail for Robert Kadzuwa, one of the accused in the Mphwiyo shooting
case after he failed to attend court sessions twice. The second time was Wednesday.
Lawyer for Kadzuwa, Wapona Kitta told the court that his client went to attend a funeral.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :