The case in which the former Justice Minister and Attorney General Ralph Kasambara, Pika Manondo and Macdonald Kumwembe appealed against their conviction will return to the Supreme Court of Appeal on November 4th, 2021, the Malawi Supreme Court has announced.
In a notice of hearing dated 20th September, 2021, which Nyasa Times has seen, the country’s highest court said the appeal case will be heard on Thursday at 09 o’clock in the morning in Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe.
“Take notice that the Malawi the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal will on Thursday the 4th day of November, 2021 at 09:00 o’clock in the forenoon sit in Lilongwe to hear the appeal therein,” reads the notice signed by the Registrar of the High Court and the Supreme Court of Appeal.
Kasambara, who is considered one of the country’s brilliant legal minds, was convicted of conspiracy to murder while Manondo and former Malawi Defence Force soldier Kumwembe were convicted of attempted murder of former Budget Director Paul Mphwiyo.
High Court Judge Michael Mtambo convicted the three and sentenced Kasambara to 13 years, while Manondo and Kumwembe were sentenced to 15 years imprisonment with hard labour.
The three appealed against their conviction and applied for bail pending the conclusion of the appeal case in the Supreme Court of Appeal.
On March 14 2018, Supreme Court of Appeal Justice Dunstain Mwaungulu released Kasambara on bail but could not release Manondo and Kumwembe on bail.
Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal judge Dunstain Mwaungulu in granting Kasambara bail said the High Court ruling was contradicting in that it found Kasambara guilty of conspiracy to murder but acquitted him of attempted murder based on the same evidence.
Mwaungulu also argued that basing the conviction on call logs was wrong as the people involved in the calls could have been discussing other things.
Immediately after the ruling, Kachale asked the court to pend its decision to free Kasambara on bail but the court asked her to make a formal application.
The shooting of Mphwiyo in 2013 opened a can of reports of massive plunder of government money at Capital Hill dubbed Cashgate.
The trial of a former Justice Minister and Attorney General came to a dramatic end on 24 August 2018 as the High Court in Lilongwe sentenced Ralph Kasambara to 13 years for conspiracy to murder Paul Mphwiyo, the former Budget Director at the Finance Ministry.
Kasambara’s courtroom defiance turned to dejection as he allowed himself to be handcuffed, a fate he had managed to avoid for the whole year-long trial, as he was led off to prison.
Ralph Kasambara is a Malawian lawyer, who served as the Minister of Justice and Attorney General since April 2012 and he also served as the former Attorney General under the administration of Bingu wa Mutharika during the early part of the administration.
After which he became the legal representative of the then Malawian vice-president, Joyce Banda.
Kasambara has been a critic of the administration of the late Bingu wa Mutharika, who he served as his official legal advisor, being vocal about grounds for impeachment and commenting that “he wants to be a dictator.”
He was jailed in February 2012, after thugs went to his office with petrol bombs in an attempted arson plot, he called the police, together with supporters and restrained the perpetrators.
Instead he was arrested for kidnapping and torture of the thugs, but he was later released on bail, and then arrested again over the faulty bail procedures.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :