Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mary Kachale has maintained her stand that the State is dealing with mafia-like operations in the case of the shooting of former Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo and has asked the High Court to revoke the bail of former Malawi Defence Force (MDF) soldier Macdonald Kumwembe , claiming he is a “threat” to presiding judge Michael Mtambo.
Kumwembe, alongside businessperson Pika Manondo and former minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Ralph Kasambara were found with a case to answer in the shooting of Mphwiyo outside the gate of his Area 43 residence in Lilongwe on September 13 2013.
The former soldier and Manondo are also charged with conspiracy to murder Mphwiyo.
Mphwiyo shooting seemed to have unravelled the massive plunder of government resources at Capital Hill later dubbed Cashgate.
The top prosecutor in her application in the High Court in Lilongwe said Kumwembe asked the judge to recuse himself from the case allegedly because he (Kumwembe) believed Mtambo had already pronounced a guilty sentence.
“In his application to have judge Mtambo recuse himself, Kumwembe said the judge had already pronounced the guilty sentence on them, otherwise why did he [the judge] travel with a police officer with a gun on his way [back] to Blantyre?
“Now, as State, we are wondering how he [Kumwembe] knew that judge Mtambo came to the courts without a policeman and left with one? He even named the policeman who escorted the judge. How did he get hold of such details? From his statement, we know that he has been following the judge; hence, the application.”
Meanwhile, security has been beefed up for some judges handling Cashgate-related cases amid concerns of threats to their lives, the press reported .
The press reported that during the conviction of former Ministry of Tourism assistant director Leonard Kalonga for his involvement in Cashgate last week, High Court judge Fiona Mwale refused to walk about 200 metres even with police escort, for fear of her life.