Kumwembe, Manondo refused to join Kasambara


Malawi Supreme Court have denied the wish of attempted murder convicts to be granted bail like their co-convict, ex-Attorney General and Justice Minister, Ralph Kasambara.

The two McDonald Kumwembe and Pika Manondo were sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2016 for conspiracy to murder. They were convicted alongside  Kasambara who was sentenced to 13 years in prison but is currently on bail pending appeal.

The two also wanted to be granted bail arguing that the Supreme Court is yet to set a date for the appeal hearing.

But the Supreme Court of Appeal, in a ruling dated December 10 2021, and delivered by Justice Lovemore Chikopa, has dismissed the application saying it is not clear if it would be in the interest of justice to grant the bail pending appeal.

Kasambara: has been out on bail since 2018

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

Pika Manondo and McDonald Kumwembe were sentenced to 15 years each for attempted murder of former Budget Director Paul Mphwiyo whose shooting in 2013 led to the revelation of the cashgate scandal. Kasambara was also found guilty of conspiring with the two and was sentenced to 13 years in prisons

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.

In September, hearing of the appeal case was set for 4 November but the case was adjourned in October to a yet to be fixed date.