Malawi Congress Party (MCP) second vice president Harry Mkandawire Tuesday testified in court against former governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Northern Region governor Christopher Mzomera Ngwira in a case where he is accused of leading five people to disrupt President Lazarus Chakwera’s rally in Mzuzu in 2016.
Chakwera was then in the opposition.
In his 20-minute testimony, Mkandawire also disclosed that Alliance for Democracy president Enock Chihana received a phone call from an unidentified person stopping him [Chihana] from attending the rally.
The court also heard that the unidentified person also told Mkandawire and Kamlepo Kalua not to attend the rally.
Mkandawire is the eleventh witness out of 14 that the State is parading before Senior Resident Magistrate Peter Kandulu.
Mkandawire also told the court that a day before the phone call, he received a text message from Ngwira warning him not to attend the meeting.
The text message, which was tendered in court, read: My brother, [I] am warning you; don’t attend the meeting because there will be bloodshed at Chibavi.
Mkandawire told the court that: “When the rally started, we saw a group of people wielding brand-new pangas and one of the bodyguards for [Lazarus] Chakwera was hacked in the head and was rushed to hospital. Some of the pangas were snatched and handed over to the then MCP secretary general Gustav Kaliwo.”
The other witness, police officer Leonard Mndala— who was the lead investigator in the case— furnished the court with caution statements and evidence of arrest obtained from the accused.
But the accused disowned the signatures.
The court also heard from Mzuzu Central Hospital Clinical Officer Karen Nyirongo, who presented a medical report to Chakwera’s bodyguard.
After hearing from the three witnesses, Kandulu adjourned the case to March 17, when cross-examination of the remaining two witnesses would continue.
Speaking after the adjournment, Ngwira’s lawyer Christon Ghambi alleged that most of the issues being presented to the magistrate were not initially reported to police.
“All we need is justice because we have seen that they are making allegations on issues that were not reported to police at that material point in time. So, we will wait for justice on the matter,” Ghambi said.
State lead prosecutor Cecelia Zangazanga declined to speak to the press.
Ngwira is serving a four-year jail term at Mzimba Prison after being found guilty of mismanaging monies meant for Local Development Fund, a case he has also appealed.