Private practice lawyer Ralph Kasambara – Senior Counsel – one of the accused in the Paul Mphwiyo shooting case on Tuesday quizzed rebuttal witnesses paraded by State prosecutors.
Kasambara is accused of conspiring to murder former budget director Mphwiyo alongside former Malawi Defence Force (MDF) soldier Macdonald Kumwembe and businessperson Pika Manondo who also face an extra charge of attempting to murder the former budget director.
First rebuttal witness was Luciano Chiumbuzo who was exposed by making inconsistencies during cross examination.
“Did you use Mr Kumwembe’s phone in 2013? Did you visit Mr Kumwembe at Maula Prison? “asked Kasambara.
Chiumbudzo replied “no” to both questions.
In his affidavit, Kumwembe said he was in Mozambique at the time Mphwiyo, then budget director in the Ministry of Finance, was shot outside the gate of his Area 43 residence in Lilongwe on September 13 2013.
Kumwembe said while he was in Mozambique on the material day, his mobile phone was in Malawi and was used by Chiumbudzo.
Chiumbudzo was also pressed on inconsistencies in his testimony, saying the events happened “a long time ago and it is very difficult to remember.”
Said Kasambara: “Very simple and straightforward Mr Chiumbudzo; did you meet Kumwembe when you came back from Botswana? Yes or no.”
In his response, Chiumbudzo said: “I am sorry if I seem not to answer as per your request. I need to explain so that the Malawi nation hears me well and good. It is also my right to be heard just as you are being heard. Please do not put words in my mouth.”
Kasambara further accused Chiumbudzo of stealing a Mercedes Benz in Botswana and that he was deported following the theft.
But Mtambo asked Kasambara to provide proof of all the allegations.
The second witness was Luciano’s brother who said his brother was in South Africa during Mphwiyo shooting.
Asked by Kasambara that Luciano was in Malawi and roaming on his South African mobile number, he said: “No he cannot roam. We could have purchased a Malawian number.”
Kasambara asked the court to be allowed to parade witness to counter the State’s rebuttal witness. The Director of Public Prosecution Mary Kachale objected to the application but Judge Micheal Mtambo granted Kasambala’s wish.
He said he will only parade Kumwembe to answer some questions based on statements made by Luciano’s brother.
Manondo and Kumwembe were found with a case to answer on the charge of conspiracy to commit murder. The two are also jointly charged with Kasambara on the charge of conspiracy to commit a crime.
Gun-shot survivor Mphwiyo actually stated in all three statements presented to court that he did not know who shot him and had no idea who may have wanted to harm him.
Mphwiyo’s shooting at the gate on his Area 43 residence in Lilongwe is believed to have exposed Cashgate, the plunder of public resources at Capital Hill.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :