High Court judge Michael Mtambo told the court yesterday that he will have the judgement on the shooting of former Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo ready by end June.
Speaking after the last counter rebuttal witness Macdonald Kumwembe—who took Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Mary Kachale to task over inconsistencies in some testimonies—Mtambo said he wants to finish the case once and for all.
The case, which started in 2013, has been marred with hurdles ranging from application for recusals from defence, defence being thrown back into jail for contempt of court and other excuses which were described by both Mtambo and Kachale as efforts to delay it.
“I told you already that once the case has finished, I will need written submissions, then oral submission will follow. Please send the written submissions by e-mail and on the 6th [July] we will meet for oral submission and by end June or early July, I will deliver my judgement,” Mtambo told the court while smiling.
Earlier on, during cross-examination, Kachale seemed to struggle to get clear responses from Kumwembe, who seemingly was not amused with her questions.
Kumwembe is currently on trial answering attempted murder charges of Mphwiyo. He was found with conspiracy to commit murder.
When brought into the dock to counter rebut, earlier statements from two State witnesses [Luciano and Peter Chiumbudzo], Kumwembe took to task Kachale to explain why all of a sudden, Luciano Chiumbudzo’s passport was missing.
He also asked the DPP to further explain why the [Chiumbudzo] brothers had given separate dates of the day their mother died. Luciano told the court his mother died on August 5 2013, while Peter said it was on August 2.
“You see my Lord, why should we trust a testimony of these two, when they cannot agree when their mother died? We have all these inconsistencies as to when Luciano Chiumbudzo was in Malawi because there is no passport and that the only travel document he has is also questionable,” he told the court.
At the end of the proceedings, Mtambo ruled that Kumwembe be given back his licence and phone and that if these were not done, the Malawi Police Service and Attorney General [Kalekeni Kaphale] risk contempt of court.