Murder suspects, former attorney general and minister of justice and constitutional affairs Raphael Kasambara, and former Malawi Defence Force soldier Macdonald Kumwembe, have appealed to the Supreme Court of Appeal against their recent convictions by the High Court.
Justice Michael Mtambo ruled on Wednesday that Kasambara’s bail must be revoked because there was evidence that he infringed on the privacy of the judges, hence he did not comply with bail conditions.
Both Kasambara and Kumwembe are murder suspects in the shooting of former budget director, Paul Mphwiyo.
In May, Kasambara had asked Mtambo to recuse himself from the case because he was “playing the role of a prosecution advocate”, but the judge refused to do so.
This was followed by Kumwembe’s own request but Mtambo refused to budge, saying he would be objective in his handling of the case.
In his application for the judges recusal, Kumwembe described the judge as a modern day Robin Hood and further said his court was a Kangaroo court.
When judge Mtambo asked Kumwembe to give him reasons why he must not be charged with contempt of court, he started apologising.
In an interview, judicial spokesperson Mlenga Mvula confirmed the appeals: “Yes, we have such appeals in our offices.”
In his initial response to the appeals, Supreme Judge Lovemore Chikopa found the applications imprudent as the applicants had not given any proof that the matter had been appealed in the lower court.
“I find the application imprudent, that such an application has come to this court before the lower courts. I am, therefore, inclined they be served as interparty. I reserve 30th September as the day of the ruling,” reads the response in part.
Furthermore, Chikopa wrote that he found the applications peculiar as they had landed on his desk beyond normal working hours and quite late in the day.
During Kasambara’s court appearance on Wednesday when his bail revocation ruling was made, he questioned Mtambo’s fitness in making such a ruling given that the former was granted bail by the Supreme Court.
But Mtambo said: “Why not? Is the Supreme Court trying this case? I am the one trying this case, therefore, I will make a ruling and not the Supreme Court.”n