Murder convict and former member of Parliament (MP) for Dowa East Wali Nasser Kara has had his jail term for the 2002 murder of his driver reduced to 30 years.
The development follows a successful appeal to the High Court in Blantyre under the Kafantayeni Project.
This means that Kara will serve about 15 years imprisonment after already spending 13 years on death row as the 30-year sentence is effective from the date of his arrest.
Dzikondianthu Malunda, desk officer for the Kafantayeni Project in the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, confirmed the development, but said in consultation with the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), the State would most likely appeal.
“The State recommended a sentence of life imprisonment based on the gravity of his crime. If he receives a third reduction in sentence then it means he might be released in 2022.
“Of course, this will be subject to the appeal by the State and the outcome of his yet-to-be heard case,” he said.
Kara’s lawyer, Ian Twea, also confirmed the development, saying his client still had the option of appealing the sentence.
A jury convicted Kara in 2004 on the charge of murder of his driver, Alex Mbewe, whose body was discovered stuffed in the MP’s Mercedes Benz vehicle and pushed into a river in Salima.
At the time, it was speculated that Kara killed his driver because he knew the truth behind the disappearance of his (Kara’s) wife, Liwoli, and her friend, Chimwemwe Kamfose, in February 2002. Bodies of the two women were never found.
Kara was not tried for the murder or disappearance of his wife and her friend.
The former legislator’s two bodyguards, who were his co-accused in the case but were acquitted, admitted in court that they drove Mbewe to a remote area near Salima and beat him to death on March 6 2002. However, the duo said Kara had forced them with threats and promises of money.
Police produced a signed statement in which Kara admitted to ordering his bodyguards to kill his wife, whom he accused of swindling him out of millions of kwacha and using the money to seduce other men.
Police told the court that Kamfose was allegedly killed because she was with Kara’s wife at the time.
Malunda, who is also senior assistant chief State advocate and represented the State in the matter, said Kara has been resentenced following a Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal decision in 2010 on the Yasini McLemonce vs The Republic which stated that the Francis Kafantayeni decision would affect the rights of all prisoners who were sentenced to death under the mandatory provisions of Section 210 of the Penal Code.
This meant that the right to a resentencing hearing also applied to Kara, who was among 23 prisoners on death sentence and 169 others whose death sentence were commuted by the president. n