FOURTH State witness in a K2.4 billion Cashgate case yesterday told the High Court in Lilongwe that he has no reason to hate the first accused in the case, former budget director Paul Mphwiyo.
The witness, former economic affairs director in the Ministry of Finance, Francis Juwawo, has already narrated to the court how Mphwiyo refused to reconcile financial books when it was noted that there was suspicious huge expenditure in 2013.
During cross-examination yesterday, Juwawo insisted Mphwiyo failed government on reconciliation that would ensure prudence.
Mphwiyo had written the office of the Secretary to the Treasury on August 5, 2013 that he faced huge temptations to draw back funds from councils.
“That may not be the basis for financial prudence looking at over expenditure of that time,” Juwawo said.
The former economic affairs director said he would describe Mphwiyo as a man who showed fiscal prudence at some point but not in the period of huge expenditure as the one in question.
Juwawo, who is working with the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, said if he hated Mphwiyo so much, he would talk about what happened between them during their 2013 Washington, United States of America trip.
Lawyer for Mphwiyo, Titus Mvalo, had asked Juwawo to say how well he knows Mphwiyo and whether he likes him or not.
Juwawo said he has known Mphwiyo for more than 10 years and sees no reason to hate him.
“I have no reason to hate Mr Paul Mphwiyo for the period I have known him. If I hated him, I would talk about what happened in Washington in 2013 when we went there for an official trip,” Juwawo said.
He went on to tell the court how he suspected to have lost a wallet in a vehicle that Mphwiyo had rented in America capital and when he asked Mphwiyo about it the former budget director said he did not see it.
“If I had some hatred, I would report that to police. If I had some hatred on him I would have no reason not to report that incident to police,” he said.
When Mvalo asked Juwawo if he does not dislike Mphwiyo because Mphwiyo is a good man, Juwawo asked Mvalo why he should dislike Mphwiyo.
Earlier, Judge Esmie Chombo stopped the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Mary Kachale, from asking Juwawo questions that are directly related to Mphwiyo’s bail revocation application that the State made.
In the last part of examination, Kachale had asked Juwawo to explain whether any of the accused persons interacted with him since the time he became a witness, a question that Mvalo said was pointing to the bail revocation application.
Juwawo is at the centre of the bail revocation case as he is one of the three state witnesses that are said to have reported cases of intimidation from Mphwiyo.
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