High Court Judge Michael Mtambo on Thursday told Pika Manondo to focus his defence testimony on the shooting of former Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo as the major issue in the case other than dwelling on the cashgate money which was used for political campaigns.
Manondo was entering his defence on the offence of conspiring to murder and attempted murder.
He highlighted how cashgate convict Oswald Lutepo and Mphwiyo used money from the looting to manipulate the outcome of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) convention.
But Judge Mtambo asked Manondo to focus his defence testimony on the shooting incident.
“You are busy talking about a political party. Why can’t you stick to the story [we are talking about]? It’s like you are talking about political science,” Mtambo said.
Manondo told the court that his testimony has a stubborn link to cashgate and that he wanted to exonerate himself from Mphwiyo shooting as he, the gun-shot survivor and Lutepo were birds of the same feathers, therefore he could not conspire or even attempt to murder the former budget director.
In his defence, Manondo told the court how one cannot trust and use the call logs as evidence linking him to the shooting of Mphwiyo on 13th September, 2013 as it has some inconsistencies in it.
He told the court that he was using his line 0999918198 phoned a friend while he was at city centre around 23:11hours but the call logs from Airtel showed he was at Area 43 as it showed tower Area 43 G2.
“My lord if you check on the same call logs it shows that at 23:07 there was an entry of SMS on my phone and the log shows I was using city centre tower and a call at 23:12 which was five minutes later showed I was at a tower of Area 43. My lord, I have tried several times using the logs to drive at that speed from city centre to Area 43 it can’t work looking at the distance and on this day the closer I went was at Vision Gaming club Pacific Area 10 where I was meeting my brother Dauka,” he said.
“At 00:37am it shows I had a call from 0999967976 which is Mr Lutepo number for 48 seconds informing me of Mphwiyo shooting. The logs show Lutepo was using KH G2 (Kamuzu Central Hospital) tower and my number shows I was using Area 32 tower which is near city centre around Malawi Congress Party National headquarters as the location I was. My lord this time I was at Chez Ntemba night club in Area 47 4 and I will bring witness who I was with at Chez Ntemba, initially I wanted to bring counsel Wapona Kita who I was with at Chez Mtemba but since he was at one point involved in this case and he can’t testify I will bring another one”, Manondo said.
“.At no point, this night did I go to Area 43. The closest I went was to Area 10,” Manondo said.
He also pointed at another detail appearing on call logs which shows he got another call at 00:39 which was two minutes and it showed the caller was using Lilongwe tower and Manondo was using Area 47 sector 2 tower, saying it’s impossible for one to drive from City centre to Area 47 sector 2 (chitukuko) in two minutes unless he was using a helicopter.
Two minutes later at 00:41 caller 0999952768 to Manondo showed he was using Area 11 tower which is near Capital Hotel to Area 11 questioning how he could drive in two minutes from Area 47 sector 2 to around Capital Hotel.
“My lord you can also check 0995953333 which is Mr Mphwiyo’s number called 0991302474 that is his wife (Thandizo Mphwiyo) and it was 23:11 they spoke for 9 seconds as Mphwiyo told this court that the time of his shooting he was calling his wife and his wife came out after she heard gunshot. But call logs here shows Mphwiyo was at Area 10 G3 tower he was using while his wife it shows she was using Area 43 G1 tower which means the call logs can’t c be used as the main evidence to build a case”, queried Manondo.
Earlier Manondo explained to court how he was working with Mphwiyo and the trip which was sent to South Africa in Johannesburg on 3rd August, 2013 and returned on 9th August, 2013 where he was sent to meet Chinese business nationals and one of them was Mr Li who was resident in Zimbabwe but claimed to have direct links with China manufacturing company SEGECOA and they were individuals who claimed to sponsor different political parties in Africa.
Manondo told the court that on return at airport he was given a locked briefcase by one of the Chinese guy to hand it over to Mphwiyo and he surrendered the briefcase – believed to have contained cash – to him at his house.
Mphwiyo was shot on the night of September 13, 2013 outside his Area 43 residence.
In the case, Manondo is answering charges of attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder alongside Macdonald Kumwembe who Mphwiyo identified as the shooter and former Justice Minister Ralph Kasambara .Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :