Former Malawi Budget Director Paul Mphwiyo, whose shooting on 13 September 2013 led to the unravelling of the systematic looting of millions of government money dubbed ‘cashgate’, has told the High Court that state prosecutors pressured him to sign affidavits implicating convicts of attempted murder of his life including former justice minister Ralph Kasambara.
When he testified in his attempted murder case, he told the court that Brown Mpinganjira, a senior government official in the former Joyce Banda administration, warned him that former Justice Minister and Attorney Ralph Kasambara – who is serving jail and appealing his conviction and sentence in connection with the shooting, and another politician Hophmally Makande , had given him “ten days to live” unless he honoured certain government payments.
Kasambara was sentenced to 13 years in Prison while co-accused Macdonald Kumwembe and Pika Manondo were given 15 years sentence each last year after the High Court in Lilongwe found them guilty of plottng and carrying out an attempt to murder Mphwiyo.
“I have had first-hand experience how the State, specifically Mrs Mary Kachale (Director of Public Prosecution –DPP) and Mr Enock Chibwanaconstantly kept on pressuring me to swear affidavid.”
But Mphwiyo ina sworn affidavit to the High Court in defence to allegations that he has been interfering with state witnesses in an in going court case where he alongside 17 other civil servants and contractors on trial for corruption and related fraud cases, has specifically accused the Director of Public Prosecution Mary Kachale and prosecutor Enoch Chibwana of pressuring him to sign affidavits if the state had offered .
“I have been arrested more than once in connection to the case I am answering [Cashgate]. There have been a lot of negative stories about me. I have been demonised and my reputation tainted by the arrests and the vae against me. I am therefore, very much interested to see the logical conclusion of this matter and put all matters to rest,” says Mphwiyo in his affidavit.
Mphwiyo, who has not indicated whether the alleged pressure by the state forced him to sign affidavits which were false and was against his will ,is accused if reaching out to state witnesses including Daniel Jenya, an economist at the Ministry of Finance.
The State wants his bail to be revoked but Mphwiya has prayed for the prosecutors application to be dismissed.
On interfering with witnesses, he argues that Jenya has not sowrn any affidavit or given any testimony of his purported interference with him, saying it will be “the greatest form of injustice” to revoke his bail based on “unsupporters assertions.”
Mphwiyo told the court, that two bullets hit him in the mandible and another went through his shoulder to his chest. One bullet was removed in a South African hospital but two others – lodged in his spinal column – will remain inside the 41-year-old for the rest of his life.
He needs permission to travel to South Africa for routine medical checkup.
A former junior civil servant Victtor Sithole’s arrest in August 2013 kick-started what became known as the “cashgate” affair – the worst financial scandal in the country’s history.]
It became public knowledge a month later following the shooting of the finance ministry’s then budget director Paul Mphwiyo.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :