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Covid delays Norman Chisale JCE case

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The date for continuation of the case of Norman Chisale, who was former president Peter Mutharika’s security aide, remains uncertain after two consecutive postponements this year due to increased cases of Covid-19.

Chisale is accused of using another person’s Junior Certificate of Education (JCE) to be recruited into the Malawi Defence Force.

On December 7 last year, the State asked the court to allow it to make some amendments to the charge sheet.

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Lilongwe Senior Resident Magistrate Shyreen Chirwa adjourned the hearing to January 11 this year after the defence opposed the State’s submission.

Chirwa directed that defence lawyers make their submission on the proposed amendments by January 4 and that the State responds by January 8 2020.

However, the case failed to be heard on January 11 due to rising cases of Covid-19 in the country, with the court being moved to shift the date to January 18.

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Justice Ministry spokesperson Pilirani Masanjala, who is also Senior State Advocate, said the case failed to continue Monday due to Covid-19.

He said the day for the continuation was not yet set.

“The Judiciary will decide on the matter. We are merely on the receiving end,” Masanjala said.

Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda, through Registrar of the High Court and Supreme Court of Appeal Gladys Gondwe, last week told the courts that, where facilities are available, cases would be handled virtually.

Apart from the JCE charge, Chisale is answering three charges in connection with the same case, namely impersonating a person named in a certificate, giving false information to a person employed in a public office and intimidation.

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