"It's shameful that the UDF party wants to take us back to the dark days,"
Mr Gwanda Chakuamba (2003)
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
BY KAREN MSISKA
17:19:53 - 19 March 2008
Vice-President Cassim Chilumpha has been dealt a severe blow in his treason case with the withdrawal from his legal team of Fahad Assani.
Assani, hitherto considered Chilumpha’s closest friend back to their college days, confirmed the development in an interview Tuesday.
He said the decision was made to allow him to concentrate on his efforts to become the next MP in Nkhotakota South, which was previously held by Chilumpha.
“Yes it is true. What remains now is to do the withdrawal formalities in court,” said Assani, adding he would do that almost immediately.
Assani has been the frontman in defending Chilumpha since his arrest in a legal team also comprising Viva Nyimba and Kalekeni Kaphale.
“It is true that I am one of the people to contest in the 2009 parliamentary elections,” said Assani when asked to confirm that he withdrew from the case to contest in next year’s elections.
“I need a lot of time and I don’t want any of it to be taken away.”
He confirmed that his decision was in some way aimed at avoiding conflict of interest in case Chilumpha also wanted to contest in the constituency.
Chilumpha was elected MP for Nkhotakota South in the 2004 elections but resigned by virtue of being sworn in as Vice-President of the country.
When asked about his views on the development, Nyimba refused to comment, saying the client was better placed to do so.
However, efforts to get Chilumpha’s comments proved futile.
His spokesperson Diana Mwawa was reportedly in hospital while his personal assistant Horace Nyaka was in Lilongwe.
Nyaka said he was not aware of the development.
Ground phone for Chilumpha’s secretary went unanswered on several attempts.
Chilumpha was arrested for treason in April 2006 allegedly for plotting to kill President Bingu wa Mutharika in an act that would have allegedly been committed in Mzimba.
It is alleged that Chilumpha hired expert assassins from South Africa to do the job. The said assassins have now become state witnesses in the case.
Chilumpha is currently on bail at his Mudi residence.
He is allowed to travel both in and outside the country after his bail conditions were relaxed by the High Court.
Posted by Anti-Muluzi at 10:44 AM