The man who has rattled Joyce Banda’s cage by accusing her of being the biggest benefactor of Cashgate, Oswald Lutepo has pleaded not guilty in another matter where he is accused of attempted murder of former Director of National Budget at the Finance Ministry, Paul Mphwiyo.
Lutepo has been charged with former Justice Minister Ralph Kasambara, Pika Manondo and two others of attempting to kill Paul Mphwiyo who was shot in front of his house but survived and is pointing fingers at Lutepo and Famed lawyer who has been in jail so many times for different matters but has yet to be found guilty of anything yet..
Through his lawyer, Oswald Mtupila, Oswald Lutepo who the court has acknowledged to being very sick to attend trial, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
During cross examination, Mphwiyo proclaimed that he had been telling the court nothing but the truth since he started being taken to court.
While denying that he ever went to South Africa with Pika Manondo, Mphwiyo admitted to have known Lutepo adding that they have been chatting with each other and Mtupila told the hearing his client had no qualms with Mphwiyo.
State witness, Rhoda Ndovi told the court that on 14 September, Mphwiyo had been visited by Dauka Manondo.
Dauka claimed that he and Pika Manondo had been very scared to hear, Mphwiyo was shot and that they had been packing with fears they would be the next target.
The hearing failed to start last November due to the strike by the Judicial supporting staff who were demanding a pay rise.
It was an attempt on Mphwiyo’s life by unknown assailants that triggered the discovery of the widespread corruption scandal christened Cashgate which is currently estimated at MK24 billion (US$53 million).
Ironically Oswald Lutepo, Paul Mphwiyo, Ralph Kasambara face different charges related to the Cashgate scandal. Mphwiyo is accused of laundering money amounting MK2.1 billion from the public coffer. The whole saga on Mphwiyo’s life according to Cashgate prosecutors started because there is no honor among thieves. They got greedy and each wanted a bigger share of the stolen loot.
Paul Mphwiyo’s wife also faces other money laundering charges.
Lutepo is accused of looting MK5.4 billion. He implicated former Malawi president, Joyce Banda, in his case. Ralph Kasambara also named Joyce Banda who reportedly in a self imposed exile in South Africa since last September as a witness in the Mphwiyo shooting saga.