Joyce Banda on witness list


Former president Joyce Banda is among witnesses the defence team wants to appear in court when hearing of former budget director Paul Mphwiyo’s attempted murder case resumes at the High Court in Lilongwe on Thursday.

Banda is on record to have said she knows the people who shot Mphwiyo.

One of the defence lawyers Wapona Kita, who is representing suspected shooter Macdonald Kumwembe, said in an interview yesterday that the former head of state and People’s Party (PP) president is appearing on the list of witnesses who might be called to testify.


Kita, however, was quick to say the list is only tentative and might be amended depending on the progress of the case.

Said Kita: “I cannot disclose the full list of our witnesses now but I can confirm that indeed Joyce Banda is one of the witnesses that we may parade. We have just been given a copy of the ruling, so we are currently studying it and preparing to make our submissions when the defence stage commences in a few days’ time.”

In a separate interview, Banda’s personal assistant, Andekuche Chanthunya, said the former president is not surprised with the plan.


“That’s not new. Ralph Kasambara put her name on the list when he disclosed his witness list. So, our position is the same as we gave at that time. She will not testify,” said Chanthunya.

Another lawyer Gift Mwankhwawa, who is representing one of the suspects Pika Manondo, said it was too early to say whether the PP president, who has been outside the country since she lost the May 2014 elections, will be considered as a witness.

Nevertheless, Mwankwawa indicated that if Banda will be paraded as a witness in court, then he would also want to ask her some questions in connection with the sentiments made at a rally at Lunzu Blantyre about Mphwiyo’s shooters.

On his part, Kasambara said his priority as of now is to study the ruling made by Justice Michael Mtambo which found the former Justice minister with a case to answer on the charge of conspiracy to commit murder.

“I want to understand better how call logs can prove conspiracy of people plotting to commit a crime,” said Kasambara.

The court, however, acquitted Kasambara on the charge of attempted murder of Mphwiyo.

Mtambo also acquitted Oswald Lutepo, Dauka Manondo and Robert Kadzuwa on conspiracy to commit murder charges, saying the state failed to provide sufficient evidence to implicate the three.

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