Lawyer John-Gift Mwakhwawa representing Pika Manondo, one of the suspects in the shooting of Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo, has argued that his client is being victimized for refusing to implicate former Justice Minister Ralph Kasambara in the matter.
Makhwawa speaking on Tuesday evening in a telephone interview confirmed an earlier assertion in Nyasa Times article that Police were luring Manondo to be a state witness and implicate Kasambara.
“Police have been pressing my client to implicate Kasambara, that’s what my client told me and that’s what I saw as well,” said Makhwawa.
The lawyer said when Manondo handed himself to police on Thursday, November 7 2013, he was being treated “with tender hands, like a VIP.”
“He (Manondo) demanded to see [businessperson Oswald] Lutepo, (who has been charged with money laundering involving about K2.6 billion in public funds) and they made sure he met him in Zomba,” said Makhwawa.
The lawyer said Manondo is now being victimised because he refused to implicate Kasambara in the shooting saga.
“He denies knowledge of any involvement of Mr Kasambara,” he said.
“What should bother every Malawian minded with justice is the question as to who is asking the police to implicate Kasambara and why,” Makhwawa told Nyasa Times.
Makhwawa said after refusing to cooperate with Police in the deal to implicate Kasambara, they have plugged off the VIP treatment offered to him and was on Friday transferred to Kasungu Prison from Area 3 Police Station where he was being kept.
“He is literally being persecuted, “ said Makhwawa, a former president of Malawi Law Society and human rights lawyer.
He said the police have not provided any reasons why they have decided to move Manondo from Lilongwe to Kasungu.
Manondo is on record saying he will reveal how certain influential people managed to abuse the Integrated Financial Management Information System (Ifmis) to siphon billions of kwacha from government coffers.
Meanwhile, Police national deputy spokesperson Kelvin Maigwa denies claims that the police were forcing Manondo to implicate Kasambara.
“There is no grain of truth to claim that Police are pressuring Mr Manondo to implicate Mr Kasambara or anybody,” he said.
Kasambara, one of the country’s prominent lawyers and a senior counsel (SC), his former bodyguard, Keston Gani and Pika Manondo have been charged with attempting to murder Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo in Lilongwe’s Area 43 residential estate on September 13 this year.
Bullets which were found in Mphwiyo’s body have allegedly been traced to a gun belonging to Gani, a police officer who was on duty when Kasambara was heading the Ministry of Justice.
Government claims Phwiyo, 37 — tasked with reforming the country’s financial infrastructure to eliminate loopholes exploited by corrupt officials — was gunned down because was about to expose massive theft in government.
He is receiving treatment in South Africa.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :