14 March 2018

Malawi: Kasambara, Others to Hear Bail Decision Today From Malawi Supreme Court

Convicted former minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Ralph Kasambara and two others are expected to hear on Wednesday if the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal has granted them bail pending an appeal against their conviction.

Kasambara alongside MacDonald Kumwembe and Pika Manondo were convicted after being found guilty of conspiracy and attempt to murder former Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo.

Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal Judge Dunstan Mwaungulu, sitting as a single Supreme Court Judge, will deliver his ruling on the matter Wednesday morning, according to Registrar of the High Court of Malawi and the Supreme Court of Appeal Agnes Patemba.

Mwaungulu heard submissions from Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mary Kachale and lawyers for the trio, namely Modecai Msisha, Senior Counsel (SC), Michael Goba Chipeta and Lusungu Gondwe.

The trio, who have spent 20 months at Zomba Central Prison, have since filed an appeal against their conviction.

In the appeal, the trio, among others, argues that High Court judge Dr Michael Mtambo erred in sentencing them based on phone call logs and that based on the pending appeal, they want the court to release them on bail.

In August 2016, Mtambo sentenced Kasambara to 13 years imprisonment for conspiring to murder Mphwiyo outside the gate of his house in Lilongwe's Area 43 residential estate on September 13 2013.

Manondo and Kumwembe were given 15 years prison terms for attempting to murder Mphwiyo.

It is widely believed that Mphwiyo's shooting exposed the plunder of public resources at Capital Hill that later came to be known as Cashgate.

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