The High Court in Lilongwe will on Monday decide the fate of State-hired prosecutors Kamudoni Nyasulu and Enock Chibwana whose authority to prosecute Cashgate cases has come under question from six suspects, including lawyers Ralph Kasambara and Wapona Kita.
Kasambara, Kita and Pika Manondo appeared in court yesterday charged with conspiracy, possession of property suspected to have been stolen amounting to K55 million and money laundering while Manondo and Kasambara are separately charged with possession of stolen property which is 11 vehicles, K22 million in Manondo’s custody and K5 billion in the two’s custody.
Director of Housing Auzius Kazombo Mwale, principal accountants Roosevelt Ndovi and Fletcher Kaizo have been charged with negligence by a public officer for facilitating theft of K2.3 billion from government.
While the rest pleaded not guilty, High Court judge Chifundo Kachale entered a plea of not guilty for Kasambara who raised several objections pertaining to the role of prosecutor and Manondo who said he was confused with the charges.
But Kita’s lawyer, Gift Nankhuni, raised objections with the authority of Nyasulu to prosecute the case because he was not licensed to practise as a legal practitioner and that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) did not procure his services in accordance with the Public Procurement Act.
Nankhuni, who is currently defending a Cashgate suspect Luke Kasamba where Nyasulu is prosecutor but did not raise the objections then, claimed that he had taken the matter for granted then but time was ripe to remedy the situation.
But responding to his lack of qualification to prosecute the cases, Nyasulu, who is a former DPP, said the Legal Education and Legal Practitioners Act exempted him as an appointee to a public office from taking up annual licenses to practice.
Said Nyasulu: “The Acts mentioned regulate procurement of goods and services not appointments. In any case, my services as prosecutor were not procured by the Government of Malawi, it was done initially through the European Union then taken over by the Irish government. While contract restricts me to handling cases involving fraud, abuse of public funds, my appointment generally says I am a prosecutor.”
Kachale has since asked the defence and prosecution to make submissions on the preliminary objections and responses between Wednesday and Friday before he makes a ruling on Monday.