DPP wants Kasambara back in jail, challenges Judge Mwaungulu’s bail ruling: Malawi Supreme Court in interest of justice test
Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mary Kachale is challenging a Supreme Court judge’s decision to release on bail former justice minister Ralph Kasambara who has been given serving a 13-year jail term for conspiracy to murder a civil servant, in a crime believed to be linked to a multi-million dollar corruption ring.
Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal judge Dunstan Mwaungulu, sitting as a single Supreme Court Judge, released Kasambara on Wednesday, as he is pending appeal on his conviction.
After Mwaungulu has finished delivering his bail judgement at 1:45pm which had started around 11:30am, the top prosecutor immediately asked the court to set aside the decision to release Kasambara, pending her application to revoke his bail.
But the court advised the top prosecutor to make a formal application.
Kachale and her prosecution team rushed to the judge’s chamber to make an application that Justice Mwaungulu should suspend his own judgement so that Kasambara can return to prison.
The DPP declined to comment when journalists asked her what transpired in the judge’s chamber.
“Whatever we were discussing was not for public consumption, which is why it was in chambers. So right now, I can’t say anything,” said Kachale.
But Kasambara disclosed the DPP wanted the judge to suspend his own determination on the bail bid.
“They want to make two applications; the first application is to have my bail suspended; the second one is that she wants to apply before nine judges that they should consider revoking my bail so that I should not go home and remain in jail,” said Kasambara.
He added: “You know throughout this issue we have had that cat and mouse relationship.”
Kasambara was sentenced for his role in the attempted murder of ex-National Budget Director Paul Mphwiyo. He was convicted alongside MacDonald Kumwembe and Pika Manondo and they were all seeking bail but have been refused.
Mwaungulu noted that in convicting Kasambara the High Court judge Micheal Mtambo has evidently relied on call logs which did not place Kasambara anywhere near the scene of the crime.
The day Mphwiyo was shot outside the gate of his Area 43 residence in Lilongwe; Kasambara was meeting former South African president Thabo Mbeki.
“The state never proved any conduct or misconduct on which a conspiracy could be inferred,” noted Mwaungulu in his ruling.
Mwaungulu also observed that there was contradiction from the trial judge on finding Kasambara not guilty of the attempted murder charge and finding him guilty of the conspiracy to murder.
“The prosecution case, on the same evidence, against the appellant’s attempted murder charge based on that the third appellant agreed to commit the crime – the third appellant, as procurer or conspirator, was a principle offender.
“In effect, the third appellant [Kasambara] was acquitted on principal because he never conspired or procured the crime, A finding later that there was a conspiracy cannot be explained on the general principle that a conspiracy is treated differently from the sustentative crime – or its failed judgement.”
He also touched on inability of the prosecution to disprove the appellants alibi, saying the judge wrongly based its finding on call logs.
Mwaungulu made his judgement based on interest of justice test enshrined in the Constitution Section 42 with “exceptional circumstances test” in granting bail
Commenting on the ruling, Kasambara, one of the finest lawyers Malawi has produced, appear to main his argument that he was jailed on “miscarriage of justice” by judge Micheal Mtambo.
“I was charged with conspiring to murder and, then, with attempting to murder. And the same judge [Micheal] Mtambo said I don’t agree to murder someone. So, how did he convict me of conspiracy to murder? Becasue if I agreed with someone to murder someone and the judge says that is not true, he cannot turn around and say I conspired to murder,” said Kasambara.
He said the court cannot convict somebody on call logs.
“The Supreme Court has made that decision before that no one can be convicted based on call logs [Republic V Mvula a Supreme Court decision]. The Supreme Court has agreed with us today.”
In August 2016, Mtambo sentenced Kasambara to 13 years imprisonment for conspiring to murder Mphwiyo outside the gate of his house in Lilongwe’s Area 43 residential estate on September 13 2013.
Manondo and Kumwembe were given 15 years prison terms for attempting to murder Mphwiyo.
Mphwiyo survived the bullets fired by assassins that lurked in the dark at the gate of his house. He was rushed to the Masm Clinic few blocks away from his house before being taken to Kamuzu Central Hospital. Days later, he was airlifted to South Africa.
However, Mphwiyo’s initial reputation as an anti-corruption crusader was dented by his own arrest on Cashgate-related charges which he is currently answering in court.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :
You are saying northerners are such and such in most cases tumbukas are picked. What about the southerners? Perhaps Lhomwes should be picked?
Malawi has just lost its way and if not careful it will be forsaken. Our only remaining available option is to ask church and tribal leaders to exorcise the evil and dark spirit that has attacked and is probably residing in our political leaders. This evil spirit seem to have found home in civil servants as well and making its way to the private sector. I also hear that ii has successfully captured a significant number of councillors, chiefs (and it’s subjects right in their villages). I am therefore making a plea to church and tribal leaders, to urgently exorcise… Read more »
Kodi mayi Kachale hair style imeneyo ndiye mumayitcha kuti chiani? Speedlink!
Hey boy! This is the nu hairdo we call TCHOPA-BACK!
Thyolo boys are all over government departments stealing money, now you are angry that this Tonga boy is out on bail, you are so stupid all of you critisizing JUSTICE. Let me tell you boys, as long as law is applied, the governmwnt will never win this case. Put it in your diary, This man is beyond intellegent, Wait and see. Northeners are intellegent.
This is stupid thinking that one region is more intelligent than the other. This is the very same reason why some tribes do not trust or like you. The other regions like peace and that is why they only show it during the ballot. This case is very complicated as they will be divisions in the judiciary. How did the appeal case land in Mwaungulus hands? Was this another judge shopping?
Everybody have their own blessing.Some are traders(southerners),some are farmers(centrals) and others are intellectuals(Northerners).Even with the quota system northerners still are dominating the universities bcoz they change names as it used to happen during Kamuzu time.The region is blessed as far as academics is concerned.90% of the law proffesion is dominated by northerners,go to poly engineering department 90% of them are northerners and even the law and engineering classes most of the learners are northerners.Go to the north most people doing business there are southerners,same applies to central region.So every region has its own calling and blessing,we just have to accept… Read more »
This so inhuman for Justice Mwaungulu Thumbuka law god by releasing Devil Ralph Kasambala on bail.If it was Bingu in power this day Ralph would not smile a second.Ralph had done evil to Malawians as a nation if you don’t know.Justice by taking advantage of his position at Supreme Court and that he has benefited from Kasambala when he was Justice minister so he wants to appreciate that he is there because of Kasambala.Apapa these Thumbukas have shown that they have dominated the laws of Malawi.Ndinaona akuti president wa Law Sciety of Malawi ali madreads ndengandenga zoona.Rubbish indeed.No wonder that… Read more »
Mbwiyache, uzafa imfa yowawa. Uzipemphera and stop the hate.
Avoid demonising a race based on actions of a few people. Not all people in jail are guilty and not all people outside jail are innocent.
So much vile from a human being! Why be so tribalistic? Before God, we are all equal, remember that!
Why then he failed to defend himself based on this argument when he was asked to that time?
He never failed a bit. But Judge Ntambo was biased in his judgement
There seems to be something deeper between these 2. We will never know.
“Kasambara, one of the finest lawyers Malawi has produced … ”
Really? My impression has always been that Kasambala is one of the most slippery lawyers Malawi has produced.
You can say that again; he amassed his wealth through crookedness. Malawians will never stop hero worshipping
Raphael Kasambara has no other better place to stay.than prison..wapha anthu zambiri ameneyu,,he is very evil .He deserve to be behind bars,mizimu ya anthu ena yigone.
Anthu ake ndani waaphawo?
Inu a Zude uko ndiye kuganiza mwaumediocrity. I think you are mistaking him for Chaponda. Because it is that man who must be in jail.
They went and searched everything at Kasambara’s house. They found nothing. They went and searched just one bedroom at Chaponda’s and they found bagloads of money.
It is Chaponda who must be jailed and not Kasambara.
A kambulumbunde,I guess you don’t know who Raphael Kasambara is.Ask the likes of Patrick Gada,Nyopex,Ali Kaka who is on the run,then you will understand what am talking about. Its not about kupezeka ndi ndalama..This guy is evil,very evil.
Stop writing your nonsense online about people just because you don’t like them. If you choose not to like Kasambara as Kasambara keep it to yourself. Not writing fabrications here.
Chaponda even went on to burn down an incredibly magnificent state of the art office building built by Kamuzu. Is he not out on bail?
Someone killed Njauju, are they not still roaming freely up to this very day? Nobody talks about all that just because they are tchopamen.
Does Kasambara not deserve fairness??
Who do you think think you are alhomwe? Is Malawi your creation?
how can a criminal be on the loose for murder and stealing. this is bullshit, this ralph must go back to jail where he belongs. judge has been bribed here
How is chief thief Mphwiyo on the loose?
He is on trial