Pika Manondo back in court Tuesday for bail

Pika Manondo, one of the key suspects in the shooting of Malawi’s Ministry of Finance Budget Director, Paul Mphwiyo, returns to court on Tuesday for hearing of his bail application.

His lawyer John Gift Mwakhwawa said everything was set and the hearing is scheduled to take place at the Lilongwe High Court from 08:30am.

“We have applied for bail and the hearing has been set for Tuesday at the Lilongwe High Court 08:30am,” said Mwakhwawa.

Currently, Manondo is being remanded at Kasungu Prison where he was transferred last week from Area 3 Police Station in Lilongwe.

Manondo: Threatens to spill the beans

Police did not give any reasons why they decided to move Manondo from Lilongwe to Kasungu.

Mwakhwawa said his client had complied with all police investigations into matter and there was no need to continue keeping him in custody.

Last week, the lawyer complained after his client’s transfer that he (Manondo) was just being persecuted for refusing to implicate former Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister, Ralph Kasambara in the matter.

He said police had been enticing Manondo to be a state witness and implicate the former minister, a move he refused.

“Police have been pressing my client to implicate Kasambara, that’s what my client told me and that’s what I saw as well… after he refused to cooperate with them in the deal by denying knowledge of any involvement of Mr Kasambara he is now being literally persecuted,” lamented Mwakhwawa.

Kasambara, one of the country’s prominent lawyers and a senior counsel (SC), his former bodyguard, Keston Gani and Pika Manondo were charged with attempting to murder Mphwiyo as he entered his Lilongwe’s Area 43 residential estate on September 13 this year.

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.

Investigations indicate bullets which were found in Mphwiyo’s body were allegedly traced to a gun belonging to Gani, a police officer assigned to protect Kasambara when he was Minister of Justice.

The former minister was also arrested in connection with the same case and last Friday he was denied bail and will have to stay in prison for 30 more days (starting November 22) after the Lilongwe High Court failed to grant him bail.

Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Bruno Kalemba, argued the one month period was to allow police conclude their investigations.

The former Justice Minister, who was last week also suspended from President Joyce Banda’s ruling People’s Party (PP) as Director of Legal Affairs, was arrested on November 8 in Lilongwe and is remanded at Zomba Central Prison despite a concern from his lawyers that he needs medical help for his heart problem.

The suspect, who described his case as a sham and that it would go nowhere, has since mentioned President Banda, her sister Cecilia Kumpukwe, Minister of Information and Civic Education, Brown Mpinganjira, PP Publicity Secretary, Hophmally Makande, among others, as some of his witnesses.

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