The Judiciary has assigned the K2.4 billion Cashgate case involving former Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo and 18 others to Judge Ruth Chinangwa.
This follows the retirement of Judge Esme Chombo, who has since been appointed to serve the country as a diplomat.
In a notice dated August 2, signed by Assistant Registrar for Criminal Division Madalitso Khoswe Chimwaza, all parties to the case and their lawyers are being asked to meet Chinangwa on August 10.
“Let all parties and counsel appearing in the above matter attend court before Judge R. Chinangwa on 10th day of August 2021 at 9:00 in the forenoon at the Civil Division Registry for planning and directions on the further conduct of the matter,” the notice reads.
Chombo handled the criminal case, number 35 of 2014, for over five years, from 2015 to May this year, when she delivered her last ruling on an application by the suspects that she should recuse herself in the case.
She dismissed the application on May 20 2021 and said she had handed over the case to the Judge President for direction.
“In conclusion, therefore, the application by the defence is dismissed in its entirety for the reasons given in the preceding paragraphs,” the ruling reads.
“On another note, and in view of the expiry of the Trial Judge’s mandate on 1st June 2021, it is clear that not much can be done within the remaining period before the due date.
“It is my view, therefore, [that] the only option is to refer the matter to the Judge President, Criminal Division, for further directions,” Chombo said in the ruling.
Mphwiyo was shot at at the gate of his Area 43 residence in Lilongwe on September 13 2013 during the administration of Joyce Banda.