Ministerial Statement On Kasambara’s Arrest

This is a full detail of how the whole Kasambra saga started as explained by justice and constitutional affairs minister  Ephraim Chiume in parliament on 21 February 2012 when responding to a question by  Honourable Uladi Mussa, Salima South made available sourced by  Malawi voice.

QUESTION

Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Question from the Honourable Member, for Salima South, is to ask the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, to inform the House and the Nation of Malawi, if we are in a State of Emergency, taking into account of what is happening to Mr. Ralph Kasambara, as he is still in prison despite the fact that he got both the court bail and court release order.

REPLY

Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to thank the Honourable Member, for Salima South, for his question on a matter of public importance, which he asked in accordance with our Standing Order No. 53.

Mr. Speaker, Sir, I wish to inform the Honourable Member, and the entire house and the Nation at large, that Government was already going to make a statement on this matter, in view of the public debate, which it has generated.

Before I dwell on the events, which have led to this very unfortunate saga, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to categorically state that Malawi is not in a state of emergency. All the laws of the land, including the Constitution, are still fully operational and govern the day to day running of the affairs of the State.

BACK GROUND

Minister Mr. Speaker, Sir, the whole saga started on Monday,  13th February,2012. Around lunch hour, Mr. Christopher Gondwe and Mr. Wilson Chapata were at Magalasi Peoples Trading Centre (PTC) chatting and were drinking “thobwa”. Meanwhile, Mr. James Chadza had travelled from Lilongwe, to visit his sister who lives at Magalasi in Blantyre. Mr. Chadza had agreed with his sister to meet at Magalasi PTC, because it was his first time to visit his sister in Blantyre, and did not know the directions to her house.

Around 13.50 hours, Mr. Speaker, Sir, the Police received information through a telephone call, from an anonymous caller, that three people were kidnapped at Magalasi PTC, by people using a blue Twin Cab Vehicle. The three abducted people, according to eye witnesses, were driven to Ralph and Arnold Associates’ premises, and that they were being assaulted.

Mr. Speaker, Sir, acting on the report, a Criminal Investigations Department (CID) team, rushed to the scene. Upon arrival at the Ralph and Arnold Associates’ premises, they found the three abducted persons who were being assaulted. These people sustained severe cuts on the heads, arms and legs. Their clothes were torn and wet. (Malawi voice )

The police rescued the three victims. They were taken to Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital for medical attention and were issued with medical reports.

In the process, Mr. Kasambara and his five accomplices were arrested. They were cautioned and charged with the offences of kidnapping and assault occasioning bodily harm to which they all denied, except for Mr. Kasambara who exercised his right to remain silent.

Kasambara's victims after being tortured

Mr. Speaker, Sir, the violence that was inflicted on the victims was gross, gruesome and inhuman. The torture to which the victims were subjected was as follows:

1. The victims were stripped naked,

2. They had their hands tied the “nyakula” style with a telephone cord,

3. Their legs were also tied with a telephone cord,

4. They were severely beaten with a hose pipe and iron bars,

5. They were splashed with water with a hose pipe,

6. They were given electric shock, using shock-sticks,

7. Their private parts were smeared with nali “sabola” or peri peri, and

8. Their private parts were also pierced with safety pins.

Mr. Speaker, Sir, all these acts of torture were being carried out by Mr. Kasambara and his accomplices. As you are aware, Mr. Speaker, Sir, these types of treatment are all in contravention of Section 19 of the Constitution.

ALLEGATIONS

Mr. Speaker, Sir, Mr. Kasambara alleges, that the victims were thugs who had been sent by unspecified persons, who wanted to cause harm or to kill him. It is alleged that the victims had gone with a petrol bomb to Mr. Kasambara’s office. Unfortunately this was not reported to the police. Had Mr. Kasambara reported to the police that someone had come with a petrol bomb to his office the police would have arrested the persons and started investigating the matter. (malawi voice giving you true online news from malawi) Based on the police investigations, there is no evidence that the victims were on a plot to cause harm or assassinate Mr. Kasambara, because they did not have any weapon on them.

Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is also alleged that the three victims were dropped at Magalasi PTC by Mr. Paulos Chisale. However, nothing has been reported to the Police, by Mr. Kasambara’s accomplices, that Mr. Chisale was involved in the matter.

In addition, Mr. Kasambara claims that he acted in self defence. It is clear from the available information, that it was Mr. Kasambara and his accomplices who went out to abduct the victims and subjected them to torture. The three Malawians were freely walking around Magalasi and drinking their “thobwa”. They are people who had the right of movement under Section 39 of the Constitution.

If Mr. Kasambara and his accomplices, were making a private arrest of the victims, under section 33 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Code, they had a duty to hand them over to the police under section 34 of the same code.

Mr. Speaker, Sir, they had no authority to subject them to the inhuman treatment that the victims suffered. Violence is not part of our laws, nor is it part of our tradition.

I wish to bring to the attention of the Honourable House, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that Ndirande Police Station, is only about half a kilometre from Mr. Kasambara’s office. Yet, Mr. Kasambara did not bother to surrender the three gentlemen to the police. He decided to take the law into his own hands.

Mr. Speaker, Sir, it is illegal under Section 19 (3) of the Constitution to subject any citizen of the land to torture of any kind or to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment. It is the duty of the State to punish offenders and not that of the private citizens.

OFFENCES

Mr. Speaker, Sir, the State believes that Mr. Kasambara and his accomplices committed the following offences:

 1. Causing grievous harm

2. Unlawful wounding

3. Assault occasioning bodily harm

4. Abduction of a person

The abduction and the interrogations, Mr. Speaker, Sir, are not disputed by Mr. Kasambara’s colleagues in their narratives. Unfortunately, no man is above the law and the Police are mandated, to arrest where one is found committing a crime. The nature of the beast is such that whoever is found committing a crime is the one that you charge with an offence and it was Mr. Kasambara and his colleagues who had abducted the alleged assailants.

Mr. Speaker, Sir, the State intends to prosecute Mr. Kasambara and his accomplices, in accordance with the law before a competent court.

BAIL

Kasambara ( middle in white Shirt)

Meanwhile, Mr. Speaker, Sir, on Tuesday, 14th February, 2012 late in the afternoon, Mr. Kasambara’s lawyers obtained bail from Senior Resident Magistrate, Innocent Nebi.

I am reliably informed, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that Mr. Kasambara’s lawyers and Mr. Nebi hunted for a court clerk, and the court proceedings were conducted at Shoprite Shopping Complex at Chichiri in Blantyre.

It is important to point out, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that at the time of bail proceedings, the non-judicial staff were still on strike, as they still are. (Malawi voice) Yet, a court clerk was allowed to suspend his participation in the strike and move from a picket line to attend to Mr. Kasambara’s bail application. One wonders where the court clerk got the official paper, date stamp, etc.

As you are aware, Mr. Speaker, Sir, during this judicial strike, many Malawians in prisons across the country are being denied bail. Yet, a special arrangement was made for Mr. Kasambara and his five colleagues to be granted bail. It seems our judicial system was selective in dispensing justice, in this regard.

The bail application was heard without giving notice of hearing to the Police or the Director of Public Prosecutions.

SEARCH OF PREMISES

On 15th February, 2012, with a search warrant, and in the presence of the President of the Malawi Law Society, Mr. Gift Mwakwawa, the Police conducted searches at Ralph & Arnold Associates’ and Mr. Kasambara’s premises. Two pieces of black telephone wires, of about 10 metres each, were recovered from Ralph and Arnold Associates’ premises. At Mr. Kasambara’s residence, in Nyambadwe, a black shockstick with two batteries was found. All the items found are with the police as part of evidence, in this matter.

RELEASE ORDER

Mr. Speaker, Sir, even though bail was granted under very dubious circumstances, the State respected the court order and was going to release Mr. Kasambara and his accomplices.

While the Police were still concluding their preliminary investigations, rumour started circulating that Mr. Kasambara and his accomplices had been released on bail. Police got suspicious as to how bail bonds were obtained, taking into account the fact that courts have not been functioning due to the judicial strike.

In the same vein, the gate-book (register) in which the Police

Prosecutor was to sign upon the release of the suspects was, without remorse, signed by Mr. Shefa Mumba, a lawyer who took the bail bonds to Prison for service. Police are looking for Mr. Shefa Mumba to question him on his involvement in signing the gate-book (register) at Chichiri Prison.

Mr. Speaker, Sir, due to flaws in the procedure, Mr. Kasambara was taken back into custody. He was subsequently taken to Zomba Maximum Prison due to security reasons, as there were vigils which were being conducted outside Chichiri Prison.

MEDICAL ATTENTION

Kasambara on Hospital bed

Mr. Speaker, Sir, much as I am at pains to discuss someone’s medical condition in public, which as you know is not our culture. Suffice to say that Government is aware that Mr. Kasambara has had some health challenges for some time. Mr. Speaker, Sir, while Mr. Kasambara was the Attorney General, he was taken ill. His Excellency the President, Ngwazi Professor Bingu wa Mutharika, authorized that Mr. Kasambara be taken to South Africa for medical attention.

That is why, Mr. Speaker, Sir, when the prison authorities realized that Mr. Kasambara’s health was deteriorating, they rushed him to Mwaiwathu Hospital in Blantyre for medical attention and recuperation.

It is pleasing to note, Mr. Speaker, Sir, that, Mr. Kasambara’s health is improving by the day, according to medical reports which have been made available to Government. This is the more reason why the government is keeping him under observation at Mwaiwathu Hospital.

CONCLUSION

As I conclude my response, Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to inform the Honourable House, that Mr. Kasambara and his accomplices have been properly arrested by the Police and the State is keen on prosecuting them once the Courts start sitting.

Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is no state of emergency in Malawi and all the laws of the country are applicable. Government is carrying out its actions in this case in accordance with our laws.(Malawi voice Giving you true online news from Malawi)

Mr. Speaker, Sir, the President has not declared a state of emergency as per the prescription of Section 45 of the Constitution.

Mr. Speaker, Sir, to go in search of persons suspected of intending to kill you, and commissioning a vigilante-style group of individuals to apprehend them, bring them to your office and thereafter interrogating them, assaulting them and torturing them, oversteps the limits of acts that the law allows private persons to do. Mr Kasambara and his colleagues took the law into their own hands. Mr. Speaker, Sir, since no man is above the law, the police had no choice but to arrest Mr. Kasambara and his colleagues.

Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to advise the Honourable House, that Mr. Kasambara and his accomplices have been charged by the Police, which means that the matter is now supposed to go to court. Therefore, I do not intend to comment further on this matter in line with Standing Order 224 of Sub judice Rule.

Finally, Mr.Speaker, Sir, I wish to advise that anyone who is interested to read the response, which I have just delivered in this Honourable House, can visit the Ministry of Justice Website: www.justice.gov.mw.

Mr. Speaker, Sir, and Honourable Members, I thank you for your attention.

15 Responses to "Ministerial Statement On Kasambara’s Arrest"

  1. Chisoni  February 23, 2012 at 7:45 am

    Ah A Chiume nokha kupeleka statement, nokha kukhala ndi ndirande love kumalemba ma comment opusa apa. You think anybody can believe a Bingu Minister, all you hand clappers people who drink blood. We love Kasambara and we know the truth is on his side, a government that killed 20 people in broad day light and tried to deny it. A government that wrote two suicide notes for chasowa and mistook chasowas fathers name, what do you want to tell us. Bingu is a lier and this house is full of liars. Ana obadwa mwa njoka tionetsana posachedwapa. Bingu lied about dialogue and did not resolve any issues just telling lies. Only stupid people believe Ephraim Chiumes statement, since when do people getting arrested for beating up a trespasser? We know Ralphs side of the story but then we will believe anybody rather than this Police that kills innocent people. Let Patricia pay Ralph 60million for telling lies about him.

    Reply
  2. brian  February 23, 2012 at 5:23 am

    mukanangozipha zigawengazo. next time do not spare them.they want money out of poverty . a malawi takhale tcherundi bingu atimaliza tonse

    Reply
  3. Gwe  February 22, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    so you really expect us to believe that Ralph and company found three or is it 5 thobwa drinking lads and decided lest do unto them what we dont want done unto us? Then we will claim self defense. This story is not over. The thugs side of the story has not been put to public scrutiny and it will and that is when the music starts- dont go do harm to the thugs – they already endured a harsh punishment. They say life it tough but when you are stupid it is tougher–music about to start -get your dancing shoes

    Reply
  4. pete  February 22, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    if this is a fabrication then even the president akunamidzidwa zambiri. Government and Ralph sides must both be ready to tell the nation on time these events. If it was bawo, we now need Kasambalas explanation. Lets not just deny it on his behalf, we cloud critique of the situation. So, Ralph, what is the story?

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  5. Bertha  February 22, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    I agree this was a total lie. If it were true how come the police revised the charges to one only of unlawful wounding? The Minister relied on the fact that he was in parliament and could therefore not be sued.

    Reply
  6. BOB  February 22, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    The minister lied a big time. I wonder why you people would want to believe these lies.

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  7. Ndirande Love  February 22, 2012 at 9:54 am

    A lie is halfway round the world before the truth has gotten its boots on is what I see here. This is sad and the government can do better in its PR machinery. People should have been informed of this long time ago. — So Ralph did not take these guys to the police.

    Kita, defending a client does not mean lying for a client! I know you are reading this to think about it. That is all I can say.

    Listen to R Kelly, Gotham City — His words hold true to what we want for Malawi and you lot are not helping us.

    Reply
    • Angulo  February 23, 2012 at 6:28 am

      Ndirande Love, and the others – you are parading your shallow mindedness, ignorance, on the matter with reckless abandon. I am not suprised about that. That is what you are: slow thinking amardillos. Come on, you can do better.

      You easily believe the statement by the minister. He invoked Standing Order 224 (Sub Judice Rule) for a reason. Obviously, the so called statement could not stand up to scrutiny. Take the allegations about torture, saying Ralph and his associates tortured the three men. Reading the statement as a whole, it is clear that it is calculated to indicate that the instrument of torture was the shock stick found by the Police at Ralphs’s home, and that it was used on the men after wetting them with water for maximum effect.

      But does that really hold up? The minister said that the men were rescued by the police from the torture. The statement is clearly to the effect that Ralph and his associates were caught in the act of torture; and that they were arrested there and then. If that were the case, surely the Police should have been in a position to collect all instruments of torture from Ralph and his associates right there and then!

      How come, the shock stick, the said instrument of torture, was not collected there and then, at the spot of torture? How come the shop stick was found a day later at Ralph’s home, which was not the scene of the alleged torture?

      By the way, being found in possession of the shop stick does not necessarily mean that Ralph was, is, or has been, using the instrument for torture.

      Reply
  8. walimuka  February 22, 2012 at 9:45 am

    Typical Malawians. What makes you believe the story by Bingu’s minister? An average Malawian is always swayed by the wind. Now that we have accounts from both sides, why don’t we try and find out who is saying the truth, instead of suddenly becoming judgemental?

    I am very worried about the average Malawian mindset!

    Reply
  9. concerned  February 22, 2012 at 8:54 am

    this is sad look how the country has been deceived even the international media all of them writing trash and now the truth comes out all of a an enemy to malawi. Look at the details well presented and palibe atanenne lute sindinamve apa

    Reply
  10. undule  February 22, 2012 at 8:51 am

    shame of these guys ndithu self defence imakhala chonchi ndipo these fools amagidwe bass nanu a shumba malamute simumukuwadziwa you think its ndi nthawi ya ma young democrats that no one will ask heheh mugwanayo malawi has changed

    Reply
  11. stefano chingota  February 22, 2012 at 8:48 am

    ati atitu kasambara akudwala anayamba kale koma mukawauza a chirwa, mkandawire,nyirenda, nyirongo etc anena kuti ai ndi bingu hahaha

    Reply
  12. mginulu  February 22, 2012 at 8:47 am

    kunena kuti atumbuka ndikulakwa koma kasambara and all you people lady society livingstonia synod why but why kweni kweni mumafuna chani jodi zimakusangalatsani kuti dziko lathe lizionongeka bass i think all the civil society must resign they have compromised they position no one can trust you any more

    Reply
  13. Kasambara  February 22, 2012 at 8:44 am

    Kasambara your a disgrace you thought your above the law and bringing Malawi to the international media as if akulakwila atumbuka your destroying this country

    Reply
  14. Mulonya  February 22, 2012 at 8:40 am

    now atumbuka mumapanga phokoso aja mulikuti kodi mnganya uyu analkwitsa kwabasi he lied to you to the malawi nation and world

    Reply

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