Govt gave K60m to witnesses in Chilumpha case

State witness in the former vice president Cassim Chilumpha’s  treason and conspiracy to murder case pocketed K60 million from government to testify.

Thomas Elias Ndlovu, a Malawian living in South Africa, and Graham Minnaar, a former South African intelligence operative — are witnesses for the prosecution.

Ndhlovu collected the money but said it was not meant to crucify businessman Yusuf Matumula who is answering treason charges alongside Chilumpha.

Chilumpha and Matumula are suspected to have conspired to assassinate President Bingu wa Mutharika in 2006 using hired assassins from South Africa.

Chilumpha and his lawyer Kalekeni Kaphale

Ndhlovu in his statement said he did not know Matumula until 2006 when the two began discussing the plot to steal “something” which later changed to be “to kill a cabinet minister” and later, “the President.”

The witness said he did not report to police and acted as though he would help Matumula commit the crime so as to get more details before informing the law enforcers.

But the defence produced in court on Monday correspondence between Matumula and Ndhlovu dated March 25, 2004 which he duly signed for indicating that he knew Matumula in 2002.

Chilumpha was arrested on April 28 2006 when he was vice-president to Wa Mutharika in his first term between 2004 and 2009 and was accused of treason and plotting to assassinate the president by engaging a professional assassin. He allegedly promised the hit man millions of dollars worth of government contracts once he succeeded Mutharika.

President Wa Mutharika tried to sack Chilumpha earlier, saying he was being disrespectful and was absconding from cabinet and government meetings. But the dismissal was overturned by the court which said the president had no constitutional powers to sack his deputy.

Chilumpha and Matumula who are both MPs have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The case continues.

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