A revolver which was allegedly supposed to be used in the shooting of former budget director in the Ministry of Finance Paul Mphwiyo was Friday tendered to the High Court in the capital Lilongwe by police investigators.
Mphwiyo was shot during the night of September 13, 2013 outside his house in Lilongwe. His shooting opened a can of worms that later led to the busting of cashgate – a syndicate in which public officers, politicians and businesspersons fraudulently plundered over US$100 million from government coffers.
Former justice minister Ralph Kasambara, a Macdonald Kumwembe and the Manondo brothers – Pika and Dauka are the main suspects believed to have been behind Mphwiyo’s attempted murder.
During the Friday hearing, prosecution which is being led Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Mary Kachale, paraded Kankhwala Chilinda – a police investigator – to testify as lead investigator.
Kankhwala told the court that he had foiled the initial plan by Kasambara and others to have Mphwiyo shot.
According to Chilinda, the gun tendered to court was supposed to be used by Maxwell Chalunda who had allegedly been hired to shoot Mphwiyo. But Chalunda, Chilinda explained, surrendered the gun when he was later arrested in connection with the shooting.
“Chalunda surrendered the gun and five unused bullets to me,” Chilinda told the court. “He told me that he was part of the team that was hired to assassinate [Mphwiyo].”
He also submitted call logs of the accused – Kasambara, the Manondo brothers and Kumwembe – to show that they were in serious contact on the day prior and after Mphwiyo shooting until two days later.
Also submitted to the court by Chilinda was about K2 million and US$3 000 collected from Kumwembe, and K12 000 from Chalunda.
Kumwembe was identified by Chilinda and eleven other state witnesses as a former Malawi Defence Force employee who had been convicted for robbery in 2005.