By Rebecca Chimjeka
Supreme Court of Appeal Justice, Lovemore Chikopa, on monday denied bail to MacDonald Kumwembe and Pika Manondo, who are the first and second accused, respectively, in Paul Mphwiyo’s shooting case,.
In 2016, High Court Judge Michael Mtambo convicted Manondo and Kumwembe, together with former minister of Justice Ralph Kasambara, of the charge of conspiring in the attempted murder of a civil servant.
Kasambara was sentenced to 13 years imprisonment while Manondo and Kumwembe were sentenced to 15 years imprisonment with hard labour.
However, in March 2018, Kasambara was released on bail pending appeal of his conviction.
Manondo and Kumwembe had asked the court to be released on bail pending appeal since there was no date set for hearing their appeal.
According to the judgement that has been made, the matter should now be disposed of.
“Bail pending appeal might be granted if the appeal likelihood of success is high or a given or if the sentence will have been served by the time the appeal is heard,” the judgement reads.
Chikopa has since ordered the State and defence lawyers to appear before the Registrar of the Supreme Court Gladys Gondwe to agree on when the matter could be disposed of.
The three appealed against their conviction and applied for bail pending conclusion of the appeal case in the Supreme Court of Appeal but Justice Dunstan Mwaungulu (now retired) only released Kasambara on bail.
Five years have elapsed since the conviction of the three.
The two have been knocking on the doors of the highest court to be released on bail pending appeal.