Police have reportedly identified a key
witness to testify against former president Bakili Muluzi in the
alleged murder of Kalonga Stambuli four years ago, some senior CID
officers have confided in The Nation.
The witness has also confirmed the approach. But officially Police and government authorities have dismissed the claim.
The CID officers disclosed the key witness as Taulai Mtika
Chiputula—a South Africa-based Malawian businessman from Blantyre’s
Chilomoni Township who fled the country while being investigated by the
authorities for an offence.
The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) arrested Mtika and interdicted
chief resident magistrate David Kadwa in 2006 on allegation of
extorting K500,000 and K150,000 as a "thank you" for the acquittal of
another Blantyre businessman where Mtika is alleged to have played a
Mtika, who escaped from Police custody while admitted to Queen
Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, was suspected to have been used
to extort the money from the businessman.
In a telephone interview from South Africa last week, Mtika confirmed he was approached.
"Yes, I have been approached but I am yet to make a decision," said
Mtika, who refused to disclose any agreements or trade-offs he has made
with the authorities. He said he could also not reveal names of people
who approached him because of the nature of the case.
Meanwhile, Muluzi’s lawyer Fahad Assani has told The Nation they
were tipped about the witness search and are getting ready for the case.
"We know all about the witness, the case and the plot to take Muluzi
to court over the killing of Stambuli," claimed Assani in an interview.
He claimed they have recorded evidence to be used in court—of Mtika
confirming being approached by senior Police investigators to testify
against the former president.
Some senior intelligence officers corroborated that Police
prosecutors have identified a key witness to implicate Muluzi in the
murder of Stambuli, who was the former president’s aide and business
"People have already travelled to South Africa and met Mtika…It’s
just a matter of time and the case will be ready for prosecution," said
a senior Police officer close to the investigations.
But head of Criminal Investigations Department (CID) David Nyongo
said he is not aware of the investigations on Stambuli’s death.
"I believe that it is a lie," he said.
Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Wezi Kaira could not be
reached for comment yesterday as he was said to be out of the country.
But chief State advocate Rosemary Kanyuka said she does not know of any key witnesses.
"I don’t know anything about such investigations," said Kanyuka.
Stambuli was found dead at his Chirimba mansion in Blantyre. An
autopsy by pathologist Charles Dzamalala found indications that
Stambuli may have died from strangulation.
Muluzi employed Stambuli at the failed Trade and Investment Bank where he was the chief executive officer.
Family and other commentators have been on State media calling for a commission of inquiry into the death of Stambuli.
Muluzi has publicly denied any involvement in the death and accuses
government of trying to persecute him by trumping up charges against