Former Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo on Thursday politician-cum –lawyer Henry Phoya to the list of some ministers who were pressurising him to approve payments to some companies, among them Glens Waterways and Deco/Terrastone which was claiming K9 billion.
During his first day of testifying as a witness in his shooting case at the High Court in Lilongwe as well as his Area 43 residence, the scene of the shooting, Mphwiyo mentioned lawyer Ralph Kasambara, through Pika Manondo, Kasambara’s friend Patrick Gadama popularly known as ‘Gada’ and former spokesperson of the People’s Party (PP) Hophmally Makande and others who were pushing for his signature to honour ‘bad’ payments.
Kasambara, Pika and his elder brother Dauka, Robert Kadzuwa and Macdonald Kumwembe have pleaded not guilty to charges of allegedly conspiring and attempting to kill Mphwiyo.
Asked by Kasambara who is representing himself to name the others, Mphwiyo said, “I do remember one person who was cabinet minister at that time, Henry Phoya.”
Phoya served as minister in several portfolios during the Bingu wa Mutharika and Joyce Banda governments.
It was learnt that lawyers for Glens Waterways, which was awarded K5 billion compensation, were Banda & Banda and Company—whose partners are retired Chief Justice Richard Banda and Gracian Banda—which got a cut of K900 million from the determination.
On the K7 billion awarded to Deco Terrastone, Mphwiyo said “I didn’t find out when it was paid. In the two months that I was budget director, I never saw that amount paid out.”
During the cross-examination, the gun-shot survivor looked calm and confident. Mphwiyo’s mother, wife and some relations were also at the court.
When lawyer Wapona Kita cross-examined Mphwiyo, he contradicted his own guard on the identity of the gunman.
Kita, who is representing Macdonald Kumwembe, Dauka Manondo and Robert Kadzuwa, began with words of sympathy for the shooting before starting firing shots at the witness.
Earlier in court on Wednesday, Mphwiyo told the court that he was not able to identify the gunman who wore a hood and mentioned Kumwembe as the one who shot which is different from his guard, Charles Singano who said the shooter wore a mask.
Mphwiyo was asked to differentiate a hood and a mask and responded: “The guard reported what he saw while I did report what I saw.”
On identifying Kumwembe, Kita produced a passport which Mphwiyo confirmed that the immigration stamps in it showed that the alleged shooter left the country on August 30, 2013 and returned on September 14, 2013, a day after the shooting.
He also indicated to the court that he saw Kumwembe the first time face to face during the night of the shooting and later in newspapers before court proceedings.
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