High Court judge Micheal Mtambo has given a restoration of bail to former minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Raphael Kasambara and former Malawi Defence Force (MDF) soldier Macdonald Kumwembe after being remanded in prison for five and four months, respectively.
Kasambara, Kumwembe and businessperson Pika Manondo are defending themselves in case of the near fatal shooting of former budget director Paul Mphwiyo at the gate of his Area 43 residence in Lilongwe on September 13 2013.
Their bail conditions were revoked by Mtambo on September 23, 2015 over what he claimed was an infringement on his private space by allegedly accessing his private information.
Mtambo said since the State prosecutors have finished parading their witnesses in the case, the defendants will not interfere with them and it was only justified to grant them bail.
“This court finds that it is appropriate that the accused’s bail be restored to its original status and that bail conditions will remain the same as when the ruling was being made of its revocation, ” he said.
The Judge however issued a gag order preventing them from speaking publicly about the case.
“The additional conditions are that the accused should not grant interviews to media and should also display interest to see the case continued earnestly and concluded in good time,” said Judge Mtambo.
The first accused Kumwembe saw his bail revoked following his application for the recusal of the judge after his ruling found him with a case to answer. The application revealed some details about the judge’s movements.
Kasambara’s bail was revoked on grounds that he was not showing interest to have the case concluded in time through applications for the judge to recuse himself.
The application to have their bail reinstalled was opposed by the State which argued that there were still threats to the judge.
Justice Mtambo underlined that the overriding matter was to have the case “case concluded in good time without any delays.”
He said: “This court is not concerned over the judge’s security matter because the issue of security is always in God’s hands.”
Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mary Kachale said she did not have problems with the decision of the court, saying the case “has progressed so well” that is is going towards the final conclusion.
“They can go so that they can start preparing for their defence outside,” said Kachale.
So far the pendulum of justice in the case seems to favour Kasambara as he has been exonerated by almost every witness from conspiracy to shoot the former budget director.
Mphwiyo was shot outside the gate of his Area 43 residence in Lilongwe on September 13 2013, a shooting which is believed to have exposed the plunder of public resources at Capital Hill that came to be known as Cashgate.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :