Ralph Kasambara

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Raphael Kasambara
President & Chairman of the Malawi Law Society
In office
Preceded byJohn Katsala
Succeeded byCharles Mhango
Attorney General of Malawi
In office
Succeeded byJane Ansah
Minister of Justice and Attorney General
In office
Preceded byEphraim Mganda Chiume
Succeeded byAnthony Kamanga
Personal details
Raphael Kasambara

(1969-09-26)26 September 1969[1]
Nkhata Bay, Malawi
Died7 June 2024(2024-06-07) (aged 54)
Lilongwe, Malawi
SpouseMargaret Namizinga
OccupationLawyer, politician
Known forMalawian lawyer, Minister of Justice, Attorney General of Malawi, President of the Malawi Law Society

Raphael Kasambara (26 September 1969 – 7 June 2024) was a Malawian lawyer, jurist, academic and convicted criminal who served as the Minister of Justice and Attorney General. He served twice as Attorney General under the administration of Presidents Bingu wa Mutharika and Joyce Banda, before being removed from office following allegations of involvement in the 2013 Malawi Capital Hill Cashgate Scandal.[2][3] He was convicted and sentenced to 13 years in jail in 2016 for conspiracy to murder a civil servant[4] and had been on bail at the time of his death.

Early life


Kasambara was born in Nkhata Bay on 26 September 1969.[5]



Kasambara was a law teacher at Chancellor College, University of Malawi.[citation needed] He served as President and Chairman of the Malawi Law Society from 2003 to 2004.[6] He was an Attorney General under Bingu wa Mutharika's first administration. He later became the lawyer for Joyce Banda who was being sidelined by the Mutharika administration. He was also the lawyer of Zambian President Michael Sata.[7]

On 26 April 2012, President Joyce Banda appointed Kasambara as Minister of Justice and Attorney General. On 10 October, a few days after returning from a trip to the UN, Banda sacked her cabinet and replaced Kasambara with Fahad Assani in the new cabinet, which was announced on 15 October 2013.[8]

Arrests and conviction


Kasambara became a vocal critic of President Mutharika's administration, advocating for his impeachment and commenting that he "wants to be a dictator".[5] Kasambara was arrested on 14 February 2012 after a group of would-be arsonists went to his offices with petrol bombs and were subdued by him and his supporters.[5] When they called the police, the police arrested him and five others on charges of 'kidnapping' and 'torturing' the three men.[5] He was taken to jail, released on bail, and re-arrested for a 'fraudulent bail process'.[9][5][10]

On 8 November 2013, Kasambara was arrested on suspicion of involvement in the September shooting of whistleblower Paul Mphwiyo[11] following the Capital Hill Cashgate Scandal. He was subsequently denied bail,[12] but later released on bail.[13] He was rearrested on money laundering charges on 27 January 2014.[14]

On 21 July 2016, he was convicted by the High Court for conspiring to murder Paul Mphwiyo. On 30 August 2016, he was given a 13-year jail term for conspiracy to murder a civil servant, in a crime believed to be linked to a multi-million dollar corruption ring.[15]



Kasambara was found dead at a lodge in the Lilongwe suburb of Area 47 in Malawi, on the evening of 7 June 2024. He was 54.[16] Preliminary results of an autopsy showed that he had died due to heart failure.[17] The police report noted that "different types of drugs and alcohol" were found in the same room where his body was discovered.[18] His funeral was held on 10 June 2024 in the Northern Region, during which an aircraft carrying Vice President Saulos Chilima and nine others crashed on their way to attend the ceremony, killing everyone on board.[19]


  • "Civic Education in Malawi Since 1992: An Appraisal", in Kings M. Phiri and Kenneth R. Ross, Democratisation in Malawi: A Stocktaking (book), Kacehere Publishing – 1998[20]
  • The Legal Regime for Foreign Direct Investment in Malawi (article), UNIMA Students Law Journal – 2000[20]


  1. ^ "Ralph Kasambara burial today". Nation Online. 9 June 2024.
  2. ^ "BBC News - Malawi anger at jailing of Mutharika critic Kasambara". BBC News. 16 February 2012.
  3. ^ "malawigazette.com".
  4. ^ "Malawi ex-minister Kasambara jailed for conspiracy to murder". BBC News. 30 August 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Nation & World | Malawi presidential critic hospitalized | Seattle Times Newspaper".
  6. ^ "Malawi: Former Attorney General returned to prison despite bail order". Amnesty International.
  7. ^ "Zambia Donates Five Million Litres of Fuel to Malawi". Global Voices. June 2012.
  8. ^ "Malawi's newly appointed Justice Minister talks tough on looting". BNL Times.
  9. ^ "Two top govt. officials arrested over massive government looting". AfriqueJet Actualités. 28 January 2014. Archived from the original on 28 July 2014. Retrieved 21 January 2023.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  10. ^ "Malawi presidential critic said to have heart ailment, hospitalized under police guard - the Washington Post". www.washingtonpost.com. Archived from the original on 19 February 2012. Retrieved 14 January 2022.
  11. ^ Malawi arrests ex-justice minister over murder attempt, by Felix Mponda; at Agence France-Presse/Yahoo! News; published 8 November 2013; retrieved 13 November 2013
  12. ^ "Bail denied for kasambara: To stay another 30 days in prison". Nyasa Times. 21 November 2013. Archived from the original on 30 December 2013. Retrieved 30 December 2013.
  13. ^ "Ralph Kasambara out on bail". Malawi Today. 10 December 2013. Archived from the original on 17 December 2013. Retrieved 30 December 2013.
  14. ^ Chikoko, Rex (10 October 2013). "Former Malawi Justice Minister Ralph Kasambara re-arrested - Africa". Daily Nation. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  15. ^ "Malawi ex-minister Kasambara jailed for conspiracy to murder". BBC. 30 August 2016. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
  16. ^ "Former Attorney General Ralph Kasambara dead". Malawi 24. 8 June 2024. Retrieved 8 June 2024.
  17. ^ "Preliminary autopsy results indicate heart failure as cause of Kasambara's death". 8 June 2024. Retrieved 9 June 2024.
  18. ^ "Kasambara was found with several types of drugs,beer in his room at Damron Lodge – Police report". Malawi Voice. 8 June 2024.
  19. ^ "Saulos Chilima: Malawi VP's plane found with no survivors, president says". BBC. Retrieved 11 June 2024.
  20. ^ a b "May I introduce to you: Ralph Kasambara". Faculty of Law, Chancellor College. University of Malawi. Retrieved 21 January 2023.