Kasambara’s appeal hearing postponed


Hearing of Ralph Kasambara’s appeal which was set to start on 4 November at the Supreme Court of Appeal has been postponed to a yet to be determined date.

Kasambara, a former cabinet minister, as well as Pika Manondo and Macdonald Kumwembe are appealing against their conviction.

In September, hearing of the case was set for 4 November but a notice of adjournment signed by Registrar of the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal Gladys Gondwe and dated 21 October says the case has been adjourned to a yet to be fixed date.

Defence lawyer Michael Goba Chipeta has since told the local media that he was informed by the Judiciary that all cases scheduled from October to December have been adjourned.

Kasambara, a former Minister in the Joyce Banda administration, was sentenced to 13 years in prison in 2016 after being convicted of conspiracy to murder former Budget Director Paul Mphwiyo.

Pika Manondo and McDonald Kumwembe, were sentenced to 15 years each for attempted murder of Mphwiyo whose shooting led to the revelation of the cashgate scandal.

The three appealed against the ruling with Kasambara faulting the judge for convicting them because of call logs. They also applied for bail pending appeal.

Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal judge Dunstain Mwaungulu granted Kasambara bail saying the High Court ruling was contradicting in that it found Kasambara guilty of conspiracy to murder but acquitted him of attempted murder based on the same evidence.

Mwaungulu also argued that basing the conviction on call logs was wrong as the people involved in the calls could have been discussing other things.