Murder suspect of Malawi’s ex budget director, Paul Mphwiyo MacDonald Kumwembe may now afford a smile after he has been granted a stay order against conviction and the sentencing of four months imprisonment with hard labour on contempt of court charges.
The ex Malawi Defence Force (MDF) soldier, sought a stay of proceedings of the lower court’s criminal case before High Court judge Michael Mtambo and the stay of his sentence and conviction on the contempt of court charge pending determination of his appeal against the sentences.
But Supreme Court judge Lovemore Chikopa, granted unconditional stay of execution.
Justice Chikopa however said the court is reminded that Kumwembe, also answering charges of conspiracy to commit murder and attempted murder of former Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo alongside former minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Raphael Kasambara, is on bail in the proceedings before Judge Mtambo.
Initially, the court stated the procedure as sought by Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mary Kachale on whether Kasambara should be allowed to represent his co-accused Kumwembe.
The court ruled that Kasambara’s appearance in the court should not be an issue as he is not the applicant’s co-accused in the appeal.
Meanwhile it is excepted that Kasambara will go ahead to represent Kumwembe.