Malawi’s former Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo told the court that that former Justice Minister and Attorney Ralph Kasambara – who was arrested in connection with the shooting, knew more details of his movements and the security at his house, maintaining that he was behind the plot to murder him.
Mphwiyo, whose shooting on 13 September 2013 led to the unravelling of the systematic looting of millions of government money dubbed ‘cashgate’, has been testifying in his attempted murder case.
He told the court that Kasambara, who he had earlier claimed had given him “ten days to live” unless he honoured certain government payments, has been following his movements even up to South Africa where he had a meeting together with one of the suspects Pika Manondo.
“I did not travel to South Africa with Manondo and the manifests will show that. I was in South Africa between 6 and 8 August . But the fourth accused [Kasambara], knew I was there, he must have been following me,” the gun-short survivor told the court.
Mphwiyo also wondered how Kasambara knew which security lights had been installed after the shooting at his upmarket Area 43 suburb of the capital, Lilongwe, where the shooting took place if he claimed that he had never been to his house.
“He knew the perimeter of my house better than myself and could direct which security lights should be covered. That, my Lord is even more scary,” Mphwiyo said.
Mphwiyo reiterated that he did not mention Kasambara to the police who visited him while he was hospitalised in South Africa following the shooting because he was afraid for his life since Kasambara was a minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs and a senior officer of the court, but also had influence in government.
Kasambara, who has been charged with conspiracy to murder Mphwiyo, denies the charges. He is on trial alongside four others, including a former soldier Macdonald Kumwembe who is said, according to court papers, to have been one of the two hired ‘contract killers’.
In his testimony, Mphwiyo maintained that Kumwembe “is the face I saw at the gate when I was shot.”
He said: “I remember being shown a passport which showed that he [Kumwembe] left Malawi, but if a proper examination can be done, the authenticity of that claim could be challenged.”
He also clarified that he did not identify Kumwembe as he did Kasambara and the Manondo brothers—Pika and Dauka—in earlier police statements because he had never seen him before.
Mphwiyo’s shooting unravelled ‘cashgate’ and the resultant discovery that up to US $30 million was minted from the government payment system, where politicians and businessmen colluded with civil servants for payments for goods and services not rendered to government.
Soon after Mphwiyo’s shooting millions of cash in Malawi kwacha, US dollars and South African rands started pitching up in unlikely places like in car trunks, baby dolls, under beds or in pillow cases.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :