The Lilongwe Magistrate’s Court has adjourned a case in which businessperson Pika Manondo is accused of laundering $184 500 (about K75 million) which the State believes is proceeds from a crime he committed because he was not feeling well.
Police discovered the cash in a First Merchant Bank safe deposit box soon after Manondo was arrested and there were earlier indications that the cash would be used as evidence to support other crimes he allegedly committed.
Senior resident magistrate Patrick Chirwa agreed to the adjournment to Tuesday, April 8 on the request from Manondo’s lawyer, Ralph Kasambara, who also put across ‘house-keeping issues’ as another reason for the adjournment.
However, Kasambara could not state what ailment Manondo was suffering from, saying he would have to consult Malawi Prison Service authorities so that his client receives medical treatment.
State prosecutor Kamudoni Nyasulu said: “He was expected to take plea and hearing was supposed to start thereafter. We would have started and finished today because all witnesses were here.”
Manondo has been in custody since November 2013 answering various charges, among them conspiracy to commit murder linked to the shooting of former budget director Paul Mphwiyo alongside Kasambara and three others.
Manondo is also Kasambara’s co-accused in the money laundering case in which the lawyer’s firm is said to have processed a K55 million (US$135 135) cheque from Manondo in the purchase of a house.
Since his arrest, Manondo asked the court to release him on bail once, the application which was turned down and he has not appealed despite being moved between Kasungu Prison and now Kachere Juvenile Prison.