On another dramatic day in court in the ongoing case of the attempted assassination of former budget director Paul Mphwiyo, an investigator tendered a revolver which was allegedly to be used in an initial attack.
Police investigator Kankwala Chilinda told the High Court in Lilongwe that the initial plan was not executed because he foiled it in its initial stages.
The prosecution, led by the Director of Public Prosecution Mary Kachale, yesterday paraded Chilinda to testify as lead investigator in the ongoing case involving former minister of Justice Ralph Kasambara and others who are accused of attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder.
Chilinda said the gun was supposed to be used by Maxwell Chalunda who was allegedly hired to shoot Mphwiyo. Chalunda surrendered the gun when he was arrested in connection with the shooting.
The investigator also submitted call logs of the accused—Kasambara, Pika Manondo, MacDonald Kumwembe and Dauka Manondo—which indicated they were in contact on the day of the shooting and two days later.
“Chalunda surrendered the gun and five unused bullets to me. He told me that he was part of the team that was hired to assassinate [Mphwiyo],” Chilinda told the court.
He also submitted to the court about K2 million and $3 000 that he collected from Kumwembe and K12 000 from Chalunda during the investigations.
He told the court that he met Kumwembe who was sharing money with a friend at Bwandilo in Lilongwe on 31 August 2013.
“I spoke to Kumwembe and I asked him if we could meet but he ran away,” he said.
According to Chilinda, Kumwembe called him the following day and suggested they meet at Maimba’s in Area 18A where he apologised for fleeing the previous day.
Chilinda, the 11th State witness, told the court that he recognised Kumwembe as a former Malawi Defence Force employee who had been convicted for robbery in 2005.
Mphwiyo’s shooting on September 13, 2013 outside his house in Lilongwe opened a can of worms that led to the revelation of Cashgate, in which public officers, politicians and businesspersons looted billions of taxpayers money.