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MacDonald Kumwembe, Pika Manondo reapply for bail

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Steve Kayuni

First and second appellant in the Paul Mphwiyo’s shooting case, namely MacDonald Kumwembe and Pika Manondo, are today reapplying for bail pending appeal.

In 2016, Judge Michael Mtambo convicted Manondo and Kumwembe of attempting to murder Mphwiyo, with Ralph Kasambara being convicted of the charge of conspiring in the attempted murder.

Kasambara was sentenced to13 years while Manondo and Kumwembe were sentenced to 15 years imprisonment with hard labour.

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The three appealed against their conviction and applied for bail pending the conclusion of the appeal case in the Supreme Court of Appeal but Justice Dunstan Mwaungulu only released Kasambara on bail.

The notice of motion for bail pending appeal, which Registrar of the High Court and Supreme Court of Appeal Gladys Gondwe has signed, indicates that the motion will be made at 10am.

“Further take notice that in the hearing of this application, applicants will rely on their affidavits filed herein, attached hereto and served herewith,” the notice reads.

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The appellants’ lawyer Michael Goba Chipeta confirmed the development, saying, being an interlocutory application, it would be heard before a single judge.

Director of Public Prosecutions Steven Kayuni also confirmed being served with the application in an interview.

The affidavits filed by Manondo and Kumwembe, which are almost identical, say it is in the interest of justice that they be released on bail pending appeal since there is no date set for hearing their appeal.

“Five years have since elapsed since my conviction and sentence without my appeal being heard…Again hearing of the appeal which was set down for November this year has been adjourned to an unknown date and for no fault of my part and reasons unknown to me.

“Not only do the foregoing facts show a threat to my constitutional right to a fair trial but also show a violation of my constitutional right to access justice. In the likely event that my appeal succeeds, I will have wrongly served the sentence and unjustly been imprisoned,” Manondo’s affidavit reads.

The Supreme Court of Appeal adjourned the matter to a date that is yet to be communicated and Chipeta said in an earlier interview that he was only told that all cases in the Supreme Court of Appeal between October and December had been adjourned.

The shooting of Mphwiyo in 2013 opened a can of reports of massive plunder of government money, dubbed Cashgate, at Capital Hill.

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