TNM releases call records on Lutepo and Mphwiyo: Airtel Malawi yet to comply with court order

Telecom Networks Malawi (TNM) has released call logs as per court order directing the mobile phone network and another operator, Airtel Malawi Limited, to furnish him with call logs of former Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo and businessperson Oswald Lutepo for the period between June 1 and September 30 2013.

Former Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Ralph Kasambara has accused the duo of intimidation.

Kasambara, who was arrested last month for allegedly attempting to murder Mphwiyo, was granted a court order for Airtel and TNM to produce statements of call logs or call history for four of Mphwiyo and three of Lutepo’s cellphone numbers to the court and Kasambara’s lawyers within five hours of service of the order.

He sought permission to privately prosecute the duo but Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Bruno Kalemba, in exercise of powers in prosecution of criminal matters, blocked the private prosecution and took over the matter.

Lutepo: Challenges court order
Lutepo: Challenges court order
Kasambala wants call logs
Kasambala wants call logs

Sources close to the DPP office has confided in Nyasa Times that despite the court order being served and following the DPP’s letter advising that he has taken over the  case file and such information be provided to him only TNM has complied so far.

“TNM has proved to be a good corporate citizen as they have provided the call logs as ordered by the court. Airtel has not and this is contempt of court as this is a high level case,” said the source in the Ministry of Justice.

Airtel Malawi faces contempt of court for non-compliance.

However, the company’s Chief Executive Officer Saulos Chilima in an interview with  Nyasa Times has denied seeing any court order.

“I am not aware as it (Court Order). It was on not served on me personally or my office. Maybe on our Company Secretary. Since I have not personally seen the order, I cannot say whether we are in breach or not.

“There is no reason why we shouldn’t comply otherwise we have complied with so many orders in the past,” said Chilima.

Nyasa Times could not reach Airtel company Secretary Shupekire Phiri on her mobile.

Latest development to the case has seen Lutepo hiring one of the leading lawyers in the country, Kalekeni Kaphale to challenge Magistrate Viva Nyimba’s order.

An application to quash the order was turned down by High Court Judge  Healy Potani on Monday.

And on Tuesday, Kaphale appeared before Magistrate Nyimba praying for a reversal of the order but was told the matter should be heard as an inter-party on December 30.

The State is accusing Kasambara of conspiring to murder Mphwiyo who was shot outside his Area 43 residence in Lilongwe on September 13 2013.

Kasambara is currently out on a court bail after being arrested on November 8 for conspiracy to murder.

Lutepo, charged with money laundering, is also out on court bail after paying a K50 million bond.

Lutepo, a chief suspect in the Capital Hill looting also known as the cashgate scandal, is being accused of stealing about K2.5 billion and part of his fortune was donated to PP when he was executive member of the party.

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