Court rules Wandale has case to answer
THE Blantyre Principal Resident Magistrate Court has found that Peoples Land Organisation leader, Vincent Wandale, and his accomplices have a case to answer in a case of fraud.
Wandale and his accomplices— Chrispin Nkhoma, Precious Lesten and Robert Kambalame— are answering the charge of fraud for soliciting money from members of the organisation, promising them land. Lucy Mussa, and 58 other locals from Thyolo District, accuse Wandale and his accomplices of stealing about K3.7 million between 2009 and 2017 in multiple payments they made to the organisation.
On Friday evening, the state concluded its case by parading investigating officer Superintendent Cladwell Kubwalo. Principal Resident Magistrate Innocent Nebi believed the state has made the case of fraud against Wandale and his accomplices.
He said the accused have the right to testify for themselves, to call witnesses or exercise their constitutional right to remain silent. After the session, Wandale said he was pleased that the case will be heard in Thyolo.
“After the state concluded their case, the magistrate was of the view that they have made their case of fraud against us and we need to defend ourselves in a full court. We have asked the court to move to Thyolo, where most of our witnesses are, since we do not have resources to be transporting them to and from Thyolo throughout the duration of the trial and our wish has been granted,” Wandale said.
The case has since been adjourned to July 3, 2017. The state earlier charged Wandale and his accomplices with theft by false pretence but later changed the charge to fraud, which is contrary to section 319 a of the Penal Code.
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