The attempted murder case of former budget director Paul Mphwiyo has more twists and turns than a Nigerian movie, after the second accused, Pika Manondo, on Friday named former president Joyce Banda among the witnesses he plans to parade in court.
His actions are, by no means, unprecedented after his co-accused, former minister of justice and constitutional affairs Ralph Kasambara, similarly named the former president among five people he intended to call as witnesses.
Appearing before Lilongwe chief resident magistrate Ruth Chinangwa in November 2013, Kasambara also named Banda’s sister Cecilia Kumpukw
However, appearing in the High Court in Lilongwe before Judge Michael Mtambo on Friday, Kasambara said he does not expect to parade any witnesses.
Manondo, however, told the court on Friday that he expects to parade the former president, her former guard commander, a Mitepa, Gostera Chimseu, a Mr Kadzamira and lawyer Wapona Kita as his witnesses in the matter.
“My Lord, I would like also to state that I may call former minister of justice Fahad Asani as my witness, but this will be a subject to discussion with my legal counsels,” Manondo told judge Mtambo.
Manondo also told the court that he might bring a closed circuit television (CCTV) footage expert when he will be entering his defence.
In July 2014, the five accused in the case at the time—Kasambara, Macdonald Kumwembe, Manondo, D
The court dismissed their application, with then Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Bruno Kalemba arguing that CCTV footage could only be brought to court once a ruling was made on whether the five accused persons had a case to answer.
On April 29 2015, the court found Kasambara with a case to answer on the charge of conspiracy to murder and Pika Manondo and Kumwembe
Soon after the commencement of the case yesterday, Kita applied for his discharge from the case to Judge Mtambo.
Kita had been representing key suspect and the first accused in the shooting case, Kumwembe.
Kumwembe has since asked the court to bear with him while he looks for an alternative lawyer.
Mtambo adjourned the case to August 31 and September 2.
Mphwiyo was shot on September 13 2013 outside his house in Area 43, Lilongwe. His shooting opened a can of worms that led to the revelation of Cashgate, the massive looting of public funds by politicians, civil servants and businesspersons.