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Independent doctor to assess Raphael Kasambara

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Twists continue in a case in which former Justice Minister Raphael Kasambara is being accused of conspiring to murder former Budget Director Paul Mphwiyo, with the latest being a ruling by the Lilongwe High Court that an independent doctor should assess Kasambara’s medical condition.

Kasambara’s lawyer Emmanuel Theu tussled with Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Mary Kachale, over medical reports produced by two doctors who had assessed the accused.

While Kachale argued that the State put its weight on a medical report by Dr David Saunders of Blantyre Adventist Hospital—where Kasambara is currently being admitted—Theu charged that Kasambara’s doctor, Lughano Kalongolera, was better placed to assess his condition.

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Among others, the affidavit by Saunders conclude that Kasambara would be clinically stable after eight to 10 days, but according to Theu, the fitness of his client cannot be specifically ascertained since both Saunders and Kalongolera agree that the suspect is still in a serious ill-health status.

Theu further attacked the expertise of Saunders whom he argued was not fit to assess his client, arguing that Kasambara was referred to Blantyre Adventist Hospital to be taken care of by a cardiology expert “and not an internal medicine and infectious diseases specialist.”

“When my client was referred to Blantyre Adventist Hospital, the cardiologist was not around such that he was cared for by Dr Saunders. If you look at the medical report by Dr Saunders, he has no expertise in kidney and heart conditions,” argued Theu.

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But this did not go down well with Kachale who wondered why Theu was attacking the same doctor who was taking care of his client.

“It is strange that Counsel for the third accused should be attacking a medical professional just because what he has said is different from what Mr Kasambara’s personal doctor said,” said Kachale.

But finally, both the State and the defence agreed that an independent doctor should assess Kasambara’s medical condition.

Judge Michael Mtambo has since adjourned the matter to October 26 for consideration of the State’s independent medical assessment of Kasambara.

Asked on whether the engagement of an independent doctor would not mean the case will continue dragging, Kachale said issues of someone’s health are so crucial that one cannot complain about delays.

Meanwhile, Mtambo is also expected to receive submissions and make a ruling on an application that another suspect in Mphwiyo’s murder plot, James Kumwembe’s bail should be revoked

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