High Court in Lilongwe will summon Malawi’s immediate past president Joyce Banda to testify in the shooting of budget director Paul Mphwiyo case including others who have been mentioned during the trial.
The case is on a stage where former Justice Minister Raphael Kasambara, Pika Manondo and McDonald Kumwembe are defending themselves after the court ruled they have a case to answer on the attempted assassination of Mphwiyo.
Judge Michael Mtambo ruled that the evidence tendered by the state had proved a prima facie case against the accused persons.
Mtambo, however, acquitted three other suspects Oswald Lutepo, Dauka Manondo and Robert Kadzuwa of conspiracy to commit murder charges saying the prosecution team did not present sufficient evidence implicating the accused persons.
The former Malawi leader and founder of People’s Party (PP), is appearing on the list of witnesses who might be called to testify.
Manondo said he would be interested to call Banda as his defence witness.
Lawyer Gift Mwankhwawa, who is representing Manondo, said if Banda will be paraded as witness in court, he would also want to ask her some questions in connection with the sentiments she made at a rally at Lunzu in Blantyre about Mphwiyo’s shooters.
Kasambara is on record telling Lilongwe Magistrate Court that he would want Banda, former State House official Cecilia Kumpukwe (a sister to former president Banda), former Minister of Information Brown Mpinganjira and politician Hophmally Makande (his pal) to testify in court as witness.
Assistant registrar of the High Court, Violet Chipawo, said the registrar would comply with the court’s order to issue the summons in time for the hearing next week.
“What I can say is that the registrar will comply with the judge’s orders that the witnesses be summoned when court reconvenes,” she said.
Mphwiyo, whose shooting on 13 September 2013 led to the unravelling of the systematic looting of millions of government money dubbed ‘cashgate’, told the court that Brown Mpinganjira, who was a senior government official in Banda administration, warned him that Kasambara and Makande, had given him “ten days to live” unless he honoured certain government payments.
The gun-shot survivor said two bullets hit him in the mandible and another went through his shoulder to his chest. One bullet was removed in a South African hospital but two others – lodged in his spinal column – will remain inside the 39-year-old for the rest of his life.
Mphwiyo said that he was waiting for his guard to open the gate to his house when he saw some people approaching the vehicle in the darkness.
His shooting unravelled ‘cashgate’ and the resultant discovery that up to K24 billion million was minted from the government payment system, where politicians and businessmen colluded with civil servants for payments for goods and services not rendered to government.
Soon after Mphwiyo’s shooting millions of cash in Malawi kwacha, US dollars and South African rands started pitching up in unlikely places like in car trunks, baby dolls, under beds or in pillow cases.
Western donor countries and agencies reacted by freezing up to US $150 million in aid for Malawi.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :