Prisoner of conscience Kasambara sues Kaliati, says Wapona

Malawi’s detained former Attorney General Ralph Kasambara has instructed his lawyer Wapona Kita to commence legal challenge against garrulous government spokesperson, Patricia Kaliati, over claims that he was arrested for homo-sexually assaulting a gang of alleged government-sponsored thugs sent to petrol bomb his offices in Blantyre.

Kaliati, who is Minister of Information and Civic Education, told state broadcaster MBC radio soon after Kasambara’s arrest last Monday that he had been arrested after failing to sexually attack the three men.

But police have pressed charges of kidnapping and unlawful wounding against the outspoken critic of President Bingu wa Mutharika.

Kaliati: Claims it was sexual assualt

Kita, speaking on Zodiak radio’s Tiuzeni Zoona interview programme on Sunday anchored by Emmanuel Chibwana, said he has been instructed by Kasambara to sue Kaliati for defamation on her damaging remarks.

Kasambara would be seeking damages in the region of K60 million.

But Kaliati has since played down the legal suit threats, urging Kasambara “to go ahead.”

“Let them go ahead and sue, who cares,” said Kaliati when contacted for comment.

Bail duly obtained

Kita also told the radio that the lawyer duly obtained a court bail for Kasambara, contrary to government accusations that it was obtained irregularly since courts in Malawi are currently on strike.

He said it is only the judiciary junior staff that are  on sit-in strike and not Magistrates and Judges.

Kita at the time they requested for the Court to sit, the Magistrates were meeting at Victoria Hotel.

He said Blantyre Chief Resident Magistrate Nyakwawa Usiwausiwa was expected to hear the bail application but had already signed the search warrant for Kasambara’s house, obtained by the state; hence he delegated Magistrate Innocent Nebi who granted the bail on appropriate conditions.

Kita said during the police search, security officers took away baking powder, surf  from the office and shocking-stick from the house.

He said when Kasambara was moved to Zomba Maximum Prison after being rearrested; the lawyers lodged Judicial Review proceedings at the Zomba High Court registry with immediate relief of an injunction. High Court judge Godfrey Mwase, granted bail on Friday afternoon.

Zomba High Court clerks, marshals and stenographers delivered the release order to the prison but Kita said Inspector General of Police Peter Mukhito had asked  that the Injunction should be served on him personally.

Kita, who appears before Anti Corruption Bureau on Monday for interrogation,  said the court order was not supposed to be served on the Police chief.

He said Kasambara remains at Mwaiwathu Hospital where is being observed by doctors for his heart ailment but pointed out that he is “in a stable condition.’

Kasambara’s arrest came days after the press quoted him saying President Bingu wa Mutharika “wants to be a dictator” and should be impeached.

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