Former Justice Minister Raphael Kasambara Wednesday told Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mary Kachale that he is now ready for anything and is using Job 13:13. Those were Kasambara’s last words before he was taken into custody for breaching his bail conditions.
But presiding Judge Michael Mtambo challenged Kasambara to explain as to who between the two could best interpret the biblical text.
He kept quiet.
Kasambara, who was found with a case to answer on conspiracy to murder Paul Mphwiyo, is suspected to have authored a letter by another murder suspect Macdonald Kumwembe to have Mtambo recuse himself from the case.
During hearing of the case two weeks ago, Mtambo described the application as “sarcastic, demeaning and rude” and, therefore, in contempt of court.
According to the judge, the conduct of the two was only meant to delay the case which is in breach of their bail conditions. Mtambo observed that there were some connections between Kasambara’s arguments that the judge should recuse himself and those of Kumwembe.
Among others, Mtambo’s curriculum vitae was in custody of Kasambara at some point and ironically was also raised by Kumwembe in his application for recusal.
Mtambo, therefore, challenged the State to do research and find out whether a court has powers to make a motion for revocation of bail.
When hearing of the case commenced on Wednesday, the State through prosecutor Enoch Chibwana applied that bail be revoked for Kasambara for breaching his bail conditions by among others sourcing private documents, especially of Justice Mtambo.
After the court revoked his bail, Kasambara applied that the revocation be stayed till Friday because he had some private matters to attend to today. The judge rejected the plea.
Kasambara looked calm and smiled as uniformed and armed police escorted him to a waiting area where suspect’s remanded at Maula Prison and those from other police cells are kept while waiting to hear their cases.
“Why are you guys still taking pictures of me? Haven’t you taken enough? At least if you tag me those pictures on Facebook, I will be very grateful. But I know that you will not,” he joked with journalists.
In an interview soon after the ruling, Kachale said rule of law has won.
“We don’t want that a judge should be afraid that if he takes up a case then his life will be in danger. That’s rule of man. But today, rule of law has won,” said Kachale.
Later in the afternoon Kumwembe started defending himself in case and among others discredited testimony by lead police investigator, a Mr Chilinda, saying he lied in court that the accused was convicted by a court in Machinga.
Kumwembe also said that Mphwiyo lied when he told the court that he did not know him.
Kumwembe, who is suspected to have pulled the trigger during the shooting, said the two have been close friends since 1999 in Zomba.
Kasambara and Kumwembe will both be attending the case from custody while the other suspect Pika Manondo remains free.
Meanwhile, the case has since been adjourned to October 13- 16 when the State will continue cross-examining Kumwembe.
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