The High Court in Lilongwe on Tuesday ordered Blantyre Adventist Hospital (BAH) to prepare and submit a comprehensive medical report on the health status of former minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Raphael Kasambara.
High Court judge Michael Mtambo made the order after Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mary Kachale trashed the medical report from Kasambara’s family doctor, Lughano Kalongolera.
The report, read in court by Kasambaras’ lawyer, Emmanuel Theu, said Kasambara, who was found with a case to answer in the on-going shooting case of former Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo, needs intensive medical attention and that about 21 days would suffice. It further said Kasambara is not fit to stand trial.
However, another report from BAH’s David Saunders said Kasambara needs about two to three days to recover.
Kachale dismissed the report from Kalongolera, saying the court should not attach any weight to it on the grounds that it was baseless.
She said: “Why should the court attach any weight to Kalongolera’s report? Blantyre Adventist Hospital have capable doctors who can ably write a comprehensive report on their patients, why should some doctor based in Zomba do the report on their behalf?
“Secondly, no one is not fit to stand trial unless they prove they are mentally disturbed. Being a [medical] doctor, I think he should refrain from making such statements. As State, we want Blantyre Adventist to comment on the report and its findings.”
According to Kachale, Kasambara would only be given the time he is requesting if doctors at BAH write a full and comprehensive medical report on him.
But Theu wondered why the State was insisting on the report when one had already been provided.
In his ruling, Mtambo said BAH should submit a full and comprehensive medical report on Kasambara’s medical condition before a ruling can be made on his fitness to stand trial.
Meanwhile, former Malawi Defence Force (MDF) soldier Macdonald Kumwembe, who has no legal representation, started cross-examining senior State advocate Dziko Malunda, officer-in-charge of criminal and civil registry and assistant High Court registrar Justus Kishindo.
In his questions, Kumwembe wanted to establish how the three came up with affidavits implicating him to have threatened the judge’s life.
To Malunda, Kumwembe asked: “Why should the court believe your affidavit when you got the date of my sentencing on attempted murder wrong? Why should we believe that your sworn affidavit is correct?”
In his response, Malunda apologised for the mixed up dates, but maintained his affidavit was correct.
But Kumwembe refused to let go, saying: “When you realised the mistake why did you not correct and sign for it? What were you waiting for?”
Last month, the State successfully moved the court to revoke Kumwembe’s bail conditions for allegedly being a threat to the presiding judge’s case.
In the case, Kumwembe and Pika Manondo are facing two charges of conspiracy to murder Mphwiyo and attempted murder while Kasambara is charged with conspiracy to commit a crime. n