High Court Judge Michael Mtambo has rejected an application by suspected shooter of former Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo, Macdonald Kumwembe, to remove himself from the case.
Kumwembe, a former soldier of Malawi Defence Force, asked the judge recuse himself claiming his decisions in the high-profile case could be seen as biased.
The suspect, who was found with a case to answer on charges of attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder, has also been convicted and sent to prison for four months for contempt of court over statement he made implying Judge Mtambo is a thief.
Kumwembe accused Judge Mtambo of presenting himself as “a modern day Robin Hood.”
The court deemed the remarks as demeaning and derogatory.
During cross-examination on his application, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mary Kachale asked Kumwembe if he understood who Robin Hood was, to which he replied: “I know Robin Hood, he was a judge.”
In communication to the judge, Kumwembe also expressed his discomfort with judge Mtambo for volunteering, in 2005, to represent Rubina Alibaba Kaonga in a case she brought against Kumwembe’s co-accused in a conspiracy to murder case, Ralph Kasambara, when he was the attorney general after all lawyers had refused to take her case.
He claims the judge has an axe to grind with Kasambara.
“From your narration, one gets the impression that you would go out of your way to make sure that Mr. Raphael Kasambara is not seen to be powerful as the public or other professionals see him to be. You present yourself as a modern day Robin Hood in so far as the dealings [with] Kasambara are concerned,” wrote Kumwembe.
But the judge said Kumwembe’s applicationwas not different to what Kasambara had also made “in the recent past.”
Mtambo has since adjourned the attempted murder case to September 23 and 24Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :