As hearing of the case of Paul Mphwiyo shooting came to a close yesterday, the state and defence were locked in a heated argument on how witness, Charles Chalunda, was allegedly released by prison authorities when he was supposed to be serving a 15-year jail term for an earlier conviction of robbery in February 2008.
It was alleged by the defence that the state purportedly set free Chalunda to testify against the accused in exchange of his freedom and that when he turned hostile; the state could not put the witness back behind bars.
Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mary Kachale, refused to directly comment on Chalunda who is now a free man despite no documentation that he was either pardoned by the president or that there was a bail given pending appeal.
Pika Manondo, who is answering attempted murder charges challenged Kachale to bring before the court any document showing that Chalunda’s freedom was granted following the law or that some “secret” surround sit.
“Madam DPP owes the public an explanation on how Chalunda was released. Was it a presidential pardon? And if it was a supreme judge[who released Chalunda] can she give us the name? If she doesn’t have that information, she should just shut up,” charged Manondo.
Ralph Kasambara chipped in: “Let us just wait for a document from the Supreme Court showing the release of Chalunda, and don’t ask me why I can’t trust a document from prison authorities or Ministry of Justice.”
But Kachale hit back saying the defence was only bent at playing with semantics and pleaded with the court not to fall for it.
The state and the defence also took time to discredit each other’s witnesses while anger and tempers characterised the submissions of the final oral arguments.
“I deplore what you are doing, that’s why I expressed a bit of anger. Even the second witness told the court that he was so drunk and he couldn’t remember what time exactly he was at Pacific Mall. Let me also submit that Kumwembe was not in Mozambique, he was hired to kill Mphwiyo, Manondo was the middle man and had no motive but did it because of his blind loyalty and Kasambara was the master mind,” Kachale said.
Meanwhile the court has instructed to submit its written final submissions by June 15, while the state is expected to submit on June 20, before the courts passes its judgment on July 21