By Tiyese Monjeza
The State Monday paraded three witnesses in a case where politician-cum-comedian Bon Kalindo is answering the charge of publishing false material at the Zomba Chief Resident Magistrate court.
The case relates to remarks that Kalindo allegedly made during ‘Malawi Salibwino’ demonstrations in Mangochi District, with the State accusing him of claiming that former second deputy speaker of Parliament Clement Chiwaya was killed at Parliament Building in Lilongwe.
During court proceedings Monday, the first witness, George Njale, who is Deputy Director of Criminal Investigations Department (CID) at the Malawi Police Service (MPS), told the court that the accused made the remarks at Mpondasi ground in Mangochi at the onset of demonstrations.
He told the court that Kalindo requested people that gathered for the demonstrations to observe a minute of silence in honour of the departed souls of police officer Superintendent Usumani Imedi and former second deputy speaker of Parliament Clement Chiwaya.
Njale, who is assistant commissioner of police, told the court that Kalindo went further to tell the gathering that Imedi was killed by Malawi Congress Party officials and that Chiwaya was killed by the government at Parliament Building in Lilongwe.
He went on to play video footage in court, shot during the demonstrations, on a plasma screen to back his claims.
In cross-examination, Kalindo’s lawyer Gilbert Khonyongwa requested a replay of the video clip so that he could confirm if Kalindo is on record to have claimed that Chiwaya was killed by the government, and upon a replay of the video, the clip was not clear if Kalindo indicated that Chiwaya was killed by the government.
Lawrence Gondwe, officer-in-charge of firearms and ballistic at MPS, told the court that a forensic report which was produced after investigations revealed that Chiwaya committed suicide using a pistol that was found at the crime scene.
Another witness, Mervin Mbwenza, regional CID officer for Central Eastern Region Police, said, upon rushing to the scene of the crime— in this case Clerk of Parliament’s offices at Parliament Building— he was given a suicide note.
He said post-mortem results indicated that Chiwaya died from a gun wound which caused brain damage, thereby corroborating that Chiwaya committed suicide.
In an interview, Khonyongwa said he was impressed with progress made in the case.
“For now, the case is going on as anticipated and we will wait for the remaining four witnesses to tender their testimonies and come up with our defence,” Khonyongwa said.
State Prosecutor Levison Mangani said they intended to finish parading their four witnesses when the court reconvenes on March 28 this year.