Chilumpha, Matumula treason case still on

Treason charges against former vice president Dr Cassim Chilumpha and businessman Yusuf Billiat Matumula is still on and government continue to spend tax payers in millions to pay a British lawyer the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration hired and state witnessed.

Chilumpha and Matumula were arrested in 2006 on allegations that they were planning to assassinate former president, the late Bingu wa Mutharika, using hired assassins from South Africa.

The case has dragged on for eight years although government then said it had overwhelming evidence against the two.

Government hired barrister Anthony Barry (QC) from Britain who is leading a prosecution team comprising seasoned lawyers Patrice Nkhono and Pacharo Kayira. At least K200 million (US$487 804) has been paid to the UK barrister.

Chilumpha: Charges till hanging on his head
Chilumpha: Charges till hanging on his head

Key State witness in the case are 45-year-old Thomas Elias Ndlovu and Graham Minaar an intelligence expert were paid money from government to implicate Chilumpha.

Ndlovu, who runs a security firm in South Africa, is on record testifying at the High Court that he was given R800, 000 for him and his family to relocate from his normal Johannesburg base in South Africa as part of government’s witness protection procedure.

The Director of Public Prosecution Bruno Kalemba hinted during the Joyce Banda- era that the case would be discontinued but it was only warehoused and charges were not dropped or the accused were not acquitted in the case that has lasted over eight year.

Malawians are continuing to pay lawyer Berry legal fees and other claims.

Kalemba said “the matter was adjourned” and not discontinued.

According to requirement, if such a case is discontinued or charges dropped, the DPP is supposed to notify parliament the prosecutorial reasons for such decision.

He said he needed time to give more consideration on the case to decide whether to close it or not.

Chilumpha and the late Mutharika fell out in 2005 after the former president left United Democratic Front (UDF), a party that sponsored him into power in 2004, to form DPP.

Chilumpha remained in UDF until he joined former ruling People’s Party in 2012 and dumped in 2014.


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