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Longer wait for Ralph Kasambara appeal case

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Gladys Gondwe

The Supreme Court of Appeal has adjourned to a later date hearing of the appeal in the attempted murder and conspiracy to murder case involving Ralph Kasambara, Pika Manondo and Macdonald Kumwembe.

Manondo and Kumwembe were convicted of the charge of attempting to murder former Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo, with Kasambara being convicted of conspiring with others in the attempted murder.

A notice of the adjournment, which The Daily Times has seen, indicates that the matter has been adjourned to a date yet to be communicated.

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“Take notice that hearing for the appeal herein, which was due on Tuesday, the 4th day of November 2021, has been adjourned to a date to be fixed,” the notice reads.

High Court and Supreme Court Registrar Gladys Gondwe confirmed the development.

Manondo and Kumwembe’s lawyer Michael Goba Chipeta said he was informed by the Judiciary that all cases scheduled for between October and December had been adjourned.

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“I have not been given specific reasons but, when I contacted the Judiciary, I was told that all the cases between October and December have been adjourned; so, it’s not just our case,” he said.

Judge Michael Mtambo convicted the three and jailed Kasambara for 13 years, with Manondo and Kumwembe being sentenced to 15 years imprisonment with hard labour.

The three appealed against their conviction and applied for bail pending conclusion of the appeal case in the Supreme Court of Appeal.

On March 14 2018, Supreme Court of Appeal Justice Dunstan Mwaungulu released Kasambara on bail but could not release Manondo and Kumwembe on bail.

Immediately after the ruling, the then director of public prosecutions Mary Kachale asked the court to pend its decision to free Kasambara on bail but the court asked her to make a formal application.

The shooting of Mphwiyo in 2013 opened a can of worms, leading to the arrest of several public workers.

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