The defence lawyers in the Paul Mphwiyo shooting trial has branded the whole case as a fallacy.
Former minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Ralph Kasambara is charged with attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder alongside Macdonald Kumwembe who Mphwiyo identified as the shooter, Dauka Manondo, Pika Manondo, Robert Kadzuwa and businessperson Osward Lutepo.
Defence lawyer John Gift Mwakhwawa during his oral submissions on Monday before Lilongwe High Court Judge Michael Mtambo said it is a “script” written by Mphwiyo himself while Ralph Kasambara who is
representing himself said it is “a trial by error.”
Mwakhwawa said investigator Superintendent Kankhwala Chilinda never investigated the case but rather testified based on Mphwiyo’s version.
“My Lord, this is a script written by Mphwiyo and what Chilinda did was to find people to suit that script. Who funded it we will never know but is targeting one person among the accused,” said Mwakhwawa.
Mwakhwawa said there were a lot of inconsistencies and discrepancies among the witnesses with one being that Chilinda told the court that Mphwiyo told him the names of those who shot him in September. But the victim himself said he did not mention the names up to November because he was afraid.
“There is also an issue of the note which Mphwiyo supposedly wrote after he was shot which he gave his aunt, we wonder where it is and why the aunt did not brought before the court to testify,” he said.
He added: “We take it that she is a virtuous woman who did not want to lie before court.”
Mwakhwawa also questioned the motive of Mphwiyo’s waiting at the gate for two to three minutes before he was shot.
“In his testimony, within the said minutes he saw people sprung out of the bush, then why did he wait to be shot before he reacted? Instincts tell us what we could have all done in such circumstances in such scenarios where people we are afraid.
“In the face of danger, you don’t wait to see what will happen next, you run.” he said.
But during clarification, state lawyer Dzikondianthu Malunda said Mphwiyo did not react because after recognizing their faces, he thought they were in need of help.
In response, Mwakhwawa said the state’s case is confusing.
“These are the people whom he was afraid of, if then he was thinking that they were indeed in need of help, why didn’t he roll down the car window and ask them. Three minutes is a lot of time they could have even asked each other how their wives are,” he said.
Taking his turn, Kasambara said the state’s case is a “sad error, a trial by error “with the police role being pathetic aimed at securing conviction at all cost.
“Your Lord, Mphwiyo said he was afraid of me but why didn’t he report to the police? Again, if that was the case, why did he came home on the day of shooting,” he said.
But Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mary Kachale said the State had presented enough evidence for a prima facie case for the court to find the accused persons with a case to answer.
Mphwiyo’s shooting at the gate of his Area 43 residence opened a can of worms into the plunder of government resources at Capital Hill in what has been dubbed Cashgate.
Meanwhile, High Court Judge Michael Ntambo has set Wednesday as the day he will rule whether the accused have a case to answer.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :