Court discharges Cassim Chilumpha’s 17-year-old treason case


The High Court in Blantyre has discharged the case involving Malawi’s former vice president Cassim Chilumpha who was accused of plotting to assassinate former president late Bingu Wa Mutharika.

The case commenced in 2006 when the state alleged that Chilumpha conspired with Yusuf Matumula and hired assassins from South Africa to topple the then President, late Mutharika.

In September, Chilumpha through his lawyer asked the court to discharge the case on grounds that it had taken too long to be completed.

In her ruling on the application, Justice Ruth Chinangwa concurred with Chilumpha that the case poorly handled and it is only lawful that the two be discharged.

A document of the ruling indicates that the hearing of the substantive matter was delayed due to preliminary matters being raised over a number of years and that the state showed no interest.

“It is argued that the State has not shown any interest in prosecuting the matter for over 11 years by taking any step in the prosecution of the matters.

“This inordinate delay on the part of the State is inexcusable and unjustifiable in any circumstances. Even if the matter was somehow heard by the Court a trial would neither be fair nor credible considering the delay involved,” reads part of the ruling.

It is reported that upon being questioned on the delay, the State confirmed that a number of preliminary applications delayed the commencement of the matter and the matter was adjourned when one of the witnesses, Mr. Ndhlovu had testified.