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Ralph Kasambara gets bail after four months

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Former Justice Minister Ralph Kasambara and attempted murder suspect Macdonald Kumwembe have every reason to smile after the High Court in Lilongwe Wednesday reinstated their bail.

Judge Michael Mtambo revoked bail for Kasambara and Kumwembe on September 23 last year after it was learnt that the two suspects were allegedly infringing on Mtambo’s privacy by accessing private information.

The Supreme Court of Appeal in Blantyre in November last year dismissed an application by Kasambara against the lower court’s verdict to withdraw the bail.

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Earlier the same month, Mtambo also threw out an application from Kasambara to travel to South Africa for medical attention after the suspect was found with a case to answer on conspiracy to murder former Budget Director Paul Mphwiyo.

“That the bail granted to 1st and 3rd accused is hereby restored on the same conditions. That the 1st and 2nd accused do not grant any interviews to any media practitioner for the duration of the bail.

“That the 1st and 3rd accused do undertake and hereby abide with the court to proceed diligently and not undertake any delaying tactic,” said Mtambo in his ruling.

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Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mary Kachale told journalists after hearing of the case that the State respects the court’s decision.

“Our role is justice and when it comes to interest of justice the custodians are the courts. We make submissions as the State and the courts have the final say. The Judge is of the view that the interest of justice now weighs in favour of releasing the accused persons; they should start preparing their defence outside prison. We respect the decision of the court,” said Kasambara.

Earlier in the morning, former People’s Party (PP) Vice President Brown Mpinganjira took to the stand as a court witness and said prior to his appearance before the court, he was getting threats from unknown people through phone calls and text messages.

Interestingly, Mpinganjira was also summoned to appear before the court for allegedly issuing threats to Mphwiyo for refusing to make ‘dubious’ payments.

According to Mpinganjira, he already lodged a complaint with Southern Region Police Commissioner, saying some of the ‘callers’ claimed to be Judge Mtambo and Anti Corruption Bureau(ACB) Director Lucas Kondowe.

Said Mpinganjira: “I was told that I should monitor the people I’m talking to and that I should watch what I say when I come to court. I’m informed that some of the impersonators have been arrested by police in Blantyre”.

Commenting on the allegations that he was threatening Mphwiyo, Mpinganjira denied the claims, saying the former Budget Director has always been a “friend”.

Mphwiyo was present in court when Mpinganjira was testifying and left immediately after Mpinganjira left and the two did not at any point greet or talk to each other.

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