Lilongwe Magistrate Court has granted an order to Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) on request from Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) to temporarily freeze bank accounts of businessperson Pika Manondo, who is one of a suspect in the shooting of Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo.
Manondo wanted to withdraw cash at First Merchant Bank but he was stopped from cashing on instructions from FIU that there was an order to freeze the account.
When Manondo challenged the bank through his lawyer Ralph Kasambara that there was no such an order, therefore he could be allowed to withdraw cash; the FIU through the top prosecutor went to Lilongwe Magistrate Court where despite a judiciary support staff being on strike, an order was granted to freeze the accounts of Manondo.
Manondo expressed shock with the way the matter has been handled, saying “how can the court sit without clerks and how did the court sit when there is a strike?”
He expressed concerns that the court granted an order without his side heard, saying “I ought to have been heard in the matter in the interest of natural justice.”
Manondo fears he will not get a fair trial.
As part of investigations, police broke into a safe deposit box at First Merchant Bank (FMB) belonging to Manondo where they retrieved US$184 000 (about K75 million) in cash.
Manondo has maintained that he will testify what he knows about the shooting of Mphwiyo on September 13 2013.
The former National Assembly employee said he left the country through Mchinji border three days after Mphwiyo was shot at the gate of his Area 43 residence and airlifted to South Africa for treatment.
Manondo also threatened to disclose “a powerful cartel” which was beneficiary of the Capital Hill looting.