The Lilongwe High Court has set the last week of the month of June as the tentative day presiding judge Blantyre-based Michael Mtambo will deliver the ruling in the case where former minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Ralph Kasambara and four others are accused of attempting to murder former Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo.
Kasambara, who is representing himself, is being charged alongside business man Pika Manondo and former Malawi Defence Force (MDF) soldier Macdonald Kumwembe.
Justice Mtambo ruled on Wednesday that both the State and the defence must file their pre-final submissions by 1st June to the court through e-mail and hardcopies of their submissions by 2nd June where they need to exchange their submissions.
The judge has since set 7 June as the day they State and Defence shall make their oral submissions in an open court and a maximum of 30 minutes will be allowed to make their submissions and both sides are expected to make their final submission ready before the judge by Sunday 19 June 2016 through electronic way of email before final determination.
Earlier during the day the court heard the testimony of first accused person Kumwembe who punched holes in the contradiction and inconsistencies of state’s rebuttal witness Luciano and Peter Chiumbuzo.
Kumwembe told the court that Luciano Chiumbuzo was in Malawi in August , 2013 few days before Mphwiyo’s shooting as they met in Blantyre where together with him in company of his South African friend called Jabu had a chat ,drink and slept together before they travelled to Zomba using their Toyota car and they dropped him at St Mary’s in Zomba before the two Luciano and Jabu proceeded to Lilongwe where they were meeting a buyer for the car.
According to Kumwembe, Luciano came back from Lilongwe and found him at his place in Zomba where he was told that they had sold the car and left for South Africa .
He told the court that he stayed with him at his house for some days and during all these days Luciano was using Kumwembe’s phone to communicate with friends abroad on internet and calls and he left the phone with him when he was going to Mozambique on 30th August 2013.
During cross examination by the state top prosecutor Mary Kachale, Kumwembe repeatedly stood by his word that Luciano was with his mobile phone and was in the country but his testimony in court is something which the court must not rely on, claiming it’s cooked up story by the state.
Kumwembe claimed the State has given Luciano a sweetener to twist facts, saying for four months now the rebuttal witness has been lodged at Sunbird Lilongwe Hotel from South Africa to testify against him.
Kumwembe also claimed when he was arrested and remanded at Maula prison, Luciano came to visit him.
DPP Kachale accused Kumwembe of making serious “allegations” in court, saying she was not amused.
But Kumwembe said it could be difficult to answer questions from the “angry” DPP.
During the trial the defence condemned the case as a script and a fabrication, arguing that the State’s case was defeated by inconsistencies of its own witness plus a glaring error of trusting another crucial witness who turned hostile.
But Kachale said the State had presented enough evidence for the court to find the accused persons guilty.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :