Joyce Banda withdrawn as ‘witness’: New twist to Cashgate shooting case

In a dramatic turn of events in the ongoing attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder ‘cashgate’ case, former Malawi Defence Force (MDF) soldier Macdonald Kumwembe and Pika Manondo have advised the High Court that they no longer need former president Joyce Banda as their ‘witnesses’ as suggested earlier, Nyasa Times understands.

Joyce Banda: Suspects are withdrawing her name as witness

Joyce Banda: Suspects are withdrawing her name as witness

The two are answering charges of conspiracy to commit murder and attempted murder of former Ministry of Finance budget director, Paul Mphwiyo. They are being tried alongside former minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Raphael Kasambara.

Kumwembe had recently named Banda as one of his witnesses he wants to cross examine while Manondo expressed only intent to invite the former president as his witness as well.

Other witnesses that the duo expressed interest to invite include high-profile politicians Hophmally Makande and Friday Jumbe.

Kumwembe told Nyasa Times in an interview on Tuesday that in the interest of a speedy conclusion of the trial, it has dawned on him and his co-accused to drop Banda as a witness.

“Inviting [former president] Banda would only delay the case since she is outside the country,” he said, adding the case has already been dragging for a long time “having commenced in 2013”.

“This matter commenced in 2013 and we cannot afford to delay it further; I want to have my life back and that can only be achieved after the case has been concluded, whichever way it goes,” said Kumwembe.

Manondo could not be reached to confirm or deny the sudden change of heart neither could his legal counsel, Gift Mwakhwawa.

In 2013, the shooting of former Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo led to revelations of the plunder of public resources at Capital Hill.

Former president Banda has accused the DPP government of using cashgate suspects to implicate her in ‘cashgate’, a scandal associated with the loss of billions of Kwacha at Capital during and before her reign. Banda was president between 2012 and 2014.

She has maintained her innocence and accuses the DPP of cooking up evidence designed to implicate innocent political opponents under the guise of cashgate inorder to deviate pubic focus from the current economic challenges. ‘

The former president emphasizes that in October 2013, when it became apparent that there was looting of public resources, she dissolved and dropped ministers who were closely linked to that looting.

“Several businessmen and civil servants were arrested in connection with cashgate. About 50 bank accounts connected to cashgate were frozen,” she recalls adding that she also initiated a forensic audit into cashgate and that with the help of the British government, her government that time engage an internationally-renowned audit firm, Baker Tilly, to conduct the forensic audit.

“The Baker Tilly audit report was released on October 30, 2014 complete with names of the people involved in cash-gate. It is a public document and my name does not appear anywhere in that report. How could I have taken all these steps to fight fraud and corruption if I were personally involved? This is bad politics,” she says.

In May this year, a financial analysis report by audit and business advisory firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) also established that about K577 billion in public funds could not be reconciliated between 2009 and December 31 2014.

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Jazila chigwenembe ~balaka
Guest

Now it is clear that joice banda was just being imprecated.how can you drop the only sole witness whom you thought is the only bridge leading you to cashgate case success?

Vwapuvwapu
Guest

Ayamba kuthothoka masamba, kkkkkkkk kenaka uzakhala opanda masamba, mtengo umenewo kkkkkkkk.

galundani
Guest

Mungolimbana for the benefit few stupid politicians who think they own malawi one thing that is common is No matter how big and strong you are,you shall not carry yoursef to your grave.Be humble.
no matter how tall you are,you can never see tomorrow.Be patient
4.No matter how rich and many cars you have,you will always walk to bed.Be contented
Ask your friends amene amaononga za anthu ovutika or jat go and read the bible anthu amisinkho sakalowa kumwamba

Cashgate myfoot

Real Patriot
Guest
Amayi ndi ana awo and others close to the thieving system enriched themselves massively while the mass Malawians withered from poverty.Dpp is shielding themselves from the 577 billion scandal.Only the few scapegoat are the one feeling the pinch to hoodwink Malawians that they are doing the job while the real master minders of cashgate are left scot free.Where are the big fish on this crazy stuff?That’s what the American Ambassador Virginia Palmer asked.Everybody is claiming to be filthy rich after joining politics,but they had problem declaring their assets before joining the corrupt govt.Who are they trying to cheat.Do they think… Read more »
Jasitasi Chilungamo
Guest

Selective justice on earth planet.We are waiting for the second coming of Jesus Christ when they will be a proper government,not when corrupt and immoral lawyers loves pieces gold and silver.Zonsenzi Mulungu akukuonani ndipo mukanthidwa pansi pompano.Mwazikundikira zichuma pamene mtundu wachimalawi ukuvutika.

colman
Guest

All of you, you know where money goes if your left hand stole something the right hand must know that

peeping lizard
Guest

MBALA ZOKHAZOKHA,KEN LIPENGA WAKHA,WAKHALA MIN OF FININCE ,BINGU TIME AND JB TIME.KOMA CASHGATE SIKUKHUDZA HOW?.TELL ME MY FELLOW MALAWIANS,ANDALE AMAYESA NGATI ANTHUFE NDIZITSIRU SITZIWA KANTHU.BUT ONE DAY IS INE DAY,AZAZINDIKILA KULI ZIWAWA ZOSALELETSEKA.

jahmai
Guest

mama God is with you..no matter what you are protected by the blood of jesus…

mtima wa nyani
Guest

MR NJANJE PA MOUNT SOCHE NDI DZI NDLAMA KUU BOOT, KKKKK

dadaboma
Guest
I have always said that JB is a clean lady. If she were dirty and involved in cashgate she would never have taken steps to reveal it, audit it, reveal names of people involved, dissolve cabinet to remove those ministers suspected of involvement including Ken Lipenga (then finance minister), and arrest those involved. Bingu had hidden everything about cashgate because it is him who masterminded it. He was found with bags of money some of which were hidden at Mpumulo wa Bata by his zealots when he died. Why are people linking JB to cashgate? JB is the only person… Read more »
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