Pika Manondo, a suspect in the $184 500 (about K75 million) money laundering case, will be examined by a doctor next Monday to ascertain if he is not fit to stand trial.
The Lilongwe Magistrate’s Court on Thursday adjourned the case against Manondo for the third time after his lawyer, Wapona Kita, reported that his client had been admitted to Kamuzu Central Hospital for the past five days with an unspecified ailment.
State prosecutor on Cashgate cases Kamdoni Nyasulu told the court that he was ready with witnesses to start his case against Manondo, who was found with $184 500 cash in his safe at First Merchant Bank last year, but he had just been told that he was in hospital.
Nyasulu added that during the last court appearance, medical tests carried out on Manondo found that he was well except for raised blood pressure.
“I pray for an adjournment for a day when the case can be taken in the afternoon so that the morning can be used for the doctor to check and certify if indeed the accused is in a state that would make him unfit to stand trial,” Nyasulu said.
Manondo, who was granted bail by the Supreme Court last week after four months in custody, is also facing other charges including money laundering alongside his lawyer Ralph Kasambara, conspiracy to commit murder in the shooting of former budget director Paul Mphwiyo alongside his lawyer and four others.
Meanwhile, another Cashgate suspect Philbert Mkandawire has pleaded not guilty to eight counts of obtaining money by false pretence and money laundering the K55 million (abpout $130 900) from the Ministry of Water Development and Irrigation for his construction industry, Mahembe Civil Engineering, when it had not rendered any service to government.
In his testimony, secretary for the ministry Sandram Maweru said Mahembe Civil Engineering did not appear on the contract register of companies which had business with the ministry.
Maweru also identified four cheque images payable to Mahembe amounting to K14.1 million (about $33 570), K16 million (about $38 000), K16 million and K9 million (about $21 400) which were drawn through FDH Bank.