Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mary Kachale yesterday stuck to her guns and re-applied for bail revocation of suspects in the attempted murder case of former Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo, saying justice must be done.
In her preliminary remarks, Kachale, who had earlier withdrawn the application on grounds that it was overtaken by events, later said the bail revocation is necessary.
She said: “This application is also in the public interest and by the mere fact [that] we can’t trace the third witness, the State feels it is important to make the application.”
Kachale also refused to withdraw and apologise for her ‘mafia-like operations’ statement, telling the defence she meant what she said.
During yesterday’s hearing, testimony from an Airtel Malawi official on call logs showed that shooting suspect McDonald Kumwembe was within Malawi before and after Mphwiyo’s shooting on September 13 2013 contrary to his passport details.
Furthermore, the testimony also shows that the third suspect, Pika Manondo, was in the country after the shooting, contrary to a position made by the defence.
In its testimony, Airtel Malawi indicated that Kumwembe was in contact with Manondo.
In addition, the Airtel official told the court that prior to the shooting on September 12 2013, Kumwembe travelled from Bvumbwe in Thyolo through Zomba, Dedza then Biwi Triangle in Lilongwe.
Said the official: “Our system is able to trace the call from where it is calling, how long the call was, despite the caller using a different line. We just trace the serial number on the phone [handset]. Using our towers, we are able to even follow the caller.”
Airtel Malawi’s testimony also cemented an earlier deposition by lead chief investigator, Kankhwala Chilinda.
Earlier yesterday, Charles Chalunda disowned his recorded voice and also disclaimed his first affidavit despite telling the court it was correct.
When asked about the contents of the first affidavit, Chalunda sternly denied.
“What I know is that the State is forcing me [to] own the first affidavit. I don’t know anything about that,’’ he said.
Mphwiyo’s shooting at the gate of his Area 43 residence opened a can of worms into the plunder of government resources at Capital Hill in what has been dubbed Cashgate.