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Paul Mphwiyo shooting linked to arms deal

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New theories and revelations have started emerging in Paul Mphwiyo shooting case, the latest being claims that perhaps the former Budget Director was shot because of an arms deal gone sour.

The claims are contrary to popular belief that Mphwiyo was nearly killed outside his Area 43 residence because he was refusing to make “dubious” payments to some government officials and business people in what led to the infamous Cashgate scandal.

Acquitted attempted murder suspect Dauka Manondo made the allegations when he appeared before the High Court in Lilongwe on Tuesday as a defence witness of Macdonald Kumwembe, who is a suspected shooter in the case.

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Manondo told the court that his younger brother, Pika, who was found with a case to answer on conspiracy to murder, confided in him that he travelled to South Africa with Mphwiyo a few weeks before the fateful September 13, 2013 to meet some people on an arms deal.

“I was not involved in the arms deal, it was my brother. He only told me that he was escorting Mphwiyo to South Africa to buy MDF [Malawi Defence Force] ammunition and a few days after coming back, that is when I heard that Mphwiyo had been shot,” said Manondo when Director of Public Prosecutions Mary

Kachale quizzed him.

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However, when Kachale challenged Manondo to explain the whereabouts of Pika after the shooting, as he was reportedly on the run, Manondo said he had no idea where his brother had disappeared to.

Nonetheless, Manondo admitted to have deposited K300,000 into the bank account of Kumwembe but denied any knowledge of what the money was meant for but only said that Pika asked him to do so.

The acquitted suspect also disclosed in his testimony that Mphwiyo’s residence had CCTV way back prior to the shooting and wondered as to why the police did not use the footage from the machine to see the people who were outside the house on the day the shooting took place.

He said: “Mphwiyo was my good friend and when we were at his house bar he could see people who were at his gate from a laptop connected to CCTV. I told the police all these but instead they coaxed me to testify against Kasambara.”

Another court witness Hophmally Makande, a former People’s Party (PP) Publicity Secretary, also alleged that former Deputy Inspector General Nelson Bophani “cooked up” a story on the shooting as he was dictating to Mphwiyo on people who purportedly took part in the failed assassination plot.

Bophani was in October last year arrested by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on charges of abuse of office and perverting course of justice. He is currently on bail.

According to Makande, Mphwiyo confessed while in a police cell that he was caught up in the predicament because of Bophani.

Kasambara also grilled Makande during re-examination-in-chief on what kind of discussions he had with Mphwiyo while locked up in a cell together months after the shooting.

“I never confronted Mphwiyo on allegations of issuing threats to him but he kept complaining to himself loudly while in the cell. This is all Bophani’s making. I’m suffering because of him. I was not interested in what he was saying. In fact, it was annoying because I knew that this was the same person who testified in court that I had given him 10 days to live.”

Meanwhile, the court has ruled that former Vice President of PP Brown Mpinganjira should be subpoenaed to appear before court on Friday next week to testify on his alleged involvement.

The State has also indicated that it will make an application objecting to calls by Kumwembe to have deputy director of ACB Reyneck Matemba and Sam Mbwana to testify as witnesses.

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