Former Justice Minister Ralph Kasambara on Monday forced the Lilongwe Chief Resident Magistrate Ruth Chinangwa to defy court tradition of recording the particulars of the suspect which include home district and Traditional Authority (TA) when he told the court that he doesn’t know his home district let alone the TA.
Although Chinangwa insisted she gets the details as per court tradition, Kasambara, who has been charged with attempted murder of the Budget Director Paul Mphwiyo in September stuck to his guns saying he was interested in introducing his current resident address only.
“I don’t know the Traditional Authority of my area but I am a permanent resident of Nyambadwe,” he said.
It was later agreed between the state and defense council to proceed as such, saying home address was not necessary to the case at hand.
Kasambara’s lawyers, Emmanuel Theu and George Mwale, could not give a comment on the matter after reporters asked them on the next step they were to take, outside the court room.
The former justice minister appeared in court on Monday where he was expected to take plea and apply for bail after his arrest last Friday.
Reading the charge sheet, Chinangwa said Kasambara on 13 September 2013 attempted to murder Paul Mphwiyo at area 43 in Lilongwe, contrary to section 223 of the penal code.
Asked to explain whether he understood charges levelled against him, Kasambara opted to exercise his right to remain silent.
Kasambara refused to respond to some questions and he named top Government officials including President Dr Joyce Banda as some of his witnesses in the case.
He told the court that the list of witnesses include President Joyce Banda, Minister of Information and Civic Education Brown Mpinganjira, Peoples Party (PP) Publicity Secretary Hophmally Makande, Prophet Elias from Machinjiri and Cecilia Kumpukwe ( a sister to President Banda).