The High Court has again denied to grant a bail to Ralph Kasambara after he had applied for a restoration of the bail, subsequently meaning the former Malawi’s Justice Minister will be behind bars at Zomba Prison during the whole festive season.
Kasambara is facing the charge of conspiracy to commit murder in the case of the shooting of former Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo at the gate of his Area 43 residence in Lilongwe on September 13 2013.
Together with former Malawi Defence Force (MDF) soldier Macdonald Kumwembe and businessperson Pika Manondo, Kasambara was found with a case to answer in the near fatal shooting of Mphwiyo.
The ex Minister has this time around not been granted bail after High Court judge Micheal Mtambo accused him of abusing the process of the court by seeking same relief in the trial court and the Supreme Court of Appeal at the same time.
Supreme Court judge Rezine Mzikamanda had earlier reserved his ruling on the matter after the appellant, through private practice lawyer Modecai Msisha, argued that the High Court erred in revoking the bail.
Kasambara’s bail conditions were revoked by Mtambo on September 23 over what he claimed was an infringement on his private space by allegedly accessing his private information.
“I do not desire to pre-empt the determination of the Supreme Court of Appeal and defer to them to adjudicate on the matter first. Depending on that determination, the applicant will if necessary be at liberty to resuscitate this application before me. It is at that time that the Court will delve into the substantive arguments. I therefore dismiss the application for bail,” said Mtambo in his ruling, a copy which was made available to Nyasa Times by Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Mary Kachale after an inquiry on Tuesday.
Kasambara reportedly has a heart problem that needed specialist treatment by a cardiologist in South Africa.
And his family doctor, Lughano Kalongolera, in his affidavit, submitted that Kasambara’s health is deteriorating while in custody at Zomba prison.
But Henry Chibwana, learned special public prosecutor told the court that there has been no change in circumstances in relation to the interests of justice, the basis of the Court’s revocation of Kasambala’s bail.
He submits that releasing Kasambara on bail does not guarantee that the case will be concluded in a timely manner because the delays in concluding the case were there even when he was on bail as for five months since April 2015.
And Superintendent Moses Chigayo, clinical officer in charge of Zomba Central Prison disputes that the health of Kasambara has deteriorated while at jail.
Chigayo said he has been monitoring Kasambara since his incarceration in the prison and after his discharge from Mwaiwathu Private Hospital where he had received treatment and that he has since 7 December 2015 not had serious medical problems apart from mild diarrhoea which has since subsided.
Mphwiyo’s shooting is believed to have opened peoples eyes on massive looting of funds at the capital hill, a scandal that saw donors pull out aid and over 70 people arrested in line with the same.