Conspirator to murder and former Minister of Justice Raphael Kasambara who was found guilty on conspiracy to commit murder together with two others, former Malawi Defence Force (MDF) soldier Macdonald Kumwembe and businessman Pika Manondo, says he will appeal against his conviction.
Kasambara was speaking to reporters outside the court in his immediate reaction to the conviction.
Responding to a question from reporters as he was being rushed into a police van bound for Maula prison, Kasambara indicated he was going to appeal.
“Of course yes, I am going to appeal, the Judge was compromised,” said a visibly angry Kasambara.
However, state prosecutor Enoch Chibwana said the Judge was neutral but said since Kasambara had indicated his intention to appeal against the ruling, the state would be ready with its case.
“First, it is the right of any accused person to appeal against their conviction, it is their right, but as far as the state is concerned, the Judge was neutral and the ruling is fair.”
It was widely believed that Mphwiyo’s shooting was linked to a fallout among corrupt officials who were exploiting loopholes in former President Joyce Banda’s government accounting system to siphon off vast sums of public money in a syndicate popularly known cashgate.
The scandal started when an accounts assistant in the Ministry of Environment, Victor Sithole, was found with huge amounts of money not in consistence with his monthly income. This was later compounded with the shooting of the former budget director on September 13, 2013.
Subsequent days led to a lot of civil servants being found with huge sums of money lacking proper documentation on how they got the money.
A number of people in high-ranking positions in the ruling party were also linked to the looting.