Kasambara fires warning shot to ‘coup plotters’

New Justice Minister and Attorney General Ralph Kasambara has fired the first warning shot to members of the infamous ‘Midnight Six’  that orchestrated a failed “constitutional coup d’état” following the death of President Bingu wa Mutharika, saying they will have to face the law.

Going head-to-head with Brian Banda on Capital  FM  flagship interview programme ‘Straight Talk’  on Tuesday  evening, his first interview as minister, Kasambara said the ‘Midnight Six’ will have to be  held accountable.

Kasambara said “Malawians have a right to know” about the whole plot of  former ministers Patricia Kaliati, Simon Vuwa Kaunda, Dr. Jean Kalilani, Henry Mussa, Nicholas Dausi and Kondwani Nakhumwa,  who  held a press conference on state MBC television refusing Constitutional order for the then Vice President Joyce Banda to take over power as Mutharika had died .

Kasambara: Law must take its course

Instead, they supported the president’s brother, former Foreign Affairs Minister Peter Arthur Mutharika.

The Good Friday Gang, decided to seek a ruling from two compliant constitutional judges disqualifying Mrs Banda from the presidency on the ground that she was not a member of the ruling party. They also demanded an injunction to prevent her from being sworn in.

The president of the Malawi Law Society (MLS), John Gift Makhwawa , has called for the prosecution of the ‘coup plotters’ for a treasonable act under Malawi’s constitution.

Kasambara who was sworn-in as Attorney General and Minister of Justice on Monday, said : “I don’t have the full facts with me.”

He however said the matter will be given a due process of the law, including giving the accused “an opportunity to be heard” in the interest of natural justice.

On whether the culprits will be arrested  and face prosecution, Kasambara said: “You don’t cross the river before we get to the bridge.”

H e nonetheless said: “We have seen the river, we have seen the bridge , and we have to cross it, one way or the other.”

On apology offered by Henry  Mussa in a radio interview, the Attorney General said he commends the former minister “for being a gentleman. We have all made mistakes in the past we are all human beings.”

He said the  apology “paves away for reconciliation” but insisted the law must take its course.

Pressed to comment on remarks made by President Banda in The Guardian newspaper of UK that implicates Chief Justice Lovemore Munlo in the  coup plot, Kasambara was tight lipped, saying Malawians should wait for “full facts.”

He said: “Let’s not give Malawians bits and pieces.”

The Justice Minister and Attorney General said Malawians will be informed of the bigger picture of the case in not too distant future.

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