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Ex-Minister wants Banda to be witness

Monday November 11 2013

President Joyce Banda of Malawi. Jailed former Minister of Justice Ralph Kasambara wants President Banda and other members of her government and political party to be his witness in court. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

President Joyce Banda of Malawi. Jailed former Minister of Justice Ralph Kasambara wants President Banda and other members of her government and political party to be his witness in court. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By REX CHIKOKO NATION Correspondent LILONGWE

Jailed former Minister of Justice Ralph Kasambara wants President Joyce Banda and other members of her government and political party to be his witness in court.

Mr Kasambara was arrested on Friday and formally charged Monday when he appeared before the court to answer charges of attempted murder of Director of Budget in the Ministry of Finance Paul Mphwiyo in September this year.

SHOT THREE TIMES

Mr Mphwiyo was shot three times and is now recuperating in South Africa.

President Banda recently dropped Kasambara as Justice Minister amid information of massive looting in government which has implicated members of Banda’s government and political party.

Lilongwe Chief Resident Magistrate Ruth Chinangwa has since committed the matter to the High Court and Kasambara is expected, on a date to be announced, appear before the court to take plea and apply for bail.

Lawyer representing Kasambara told the court that the former Minister would to have as witness President Banda, Minister of Information Brown Mpinganjira, President Banda’s sister Cecilia Kumpukwe who works at State House and Peoples Party spokesman Hophmally Makande.

It is not known whether President Banda would appear before the court as Kasambara’s witness however law experts indicate that there was nothing illegal for president to appear in court as witness.

Despite President Banda’s official claim that her government was fighting corruption in government, revelations indicate that Banda’s political party was the main beneficiary of the looted money.

One political commentator Billy Banda said the turn of events would help Malawians know the truth of what happened with their taxes.

“What is more important is for Malawians to know the truth even if it means subpoena the president on this matter,” he said.