Government presses for Norman Chisale property seizure
By Isaac Salima:
The Constitutional Court is expected to set a date to hear an application by the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for a final forfeiture order to seize and sell Norman Chisale’s assets.
The High Court in February this year granted the government an order to seize Chisale’s property worth K1.7 billion for being suspected to be proceeds of a crime.
According to the law, the defence side is given 90 days to challenge the court’s decision and show cause on why the property should not be forfeited; failure to show cause leads to the granting of a final forfeiture order.
DPP Steven Kayuni said they were waiting for the date as the 90 days period expires this week.
Chisale’s lawyer Chancy Gondwe had not been responding to our calls and WhatsApp messages but Kayuni said the defence had applied for the case to proceed as a constitutional matter.
However, Kayuni said they would challenge the defence’s application.
“We will make our presentation when the day comes. In as far as we are concerned, this is not a constitutional matter under the financial crime-related laws because the matters are akin to criminal proceedings and the law designates the office of the DPP to process such cases,” Kayuni said.
Justice Mike Tembo granted the seizure order to the office of the DPP through the Asset Forfeiture Unit, Malawi Police Service, Financial Intelligence Authority, Anti-Corruption Bureau and Fiscal and Fraud Department, who had jointly applied for the court order.
Among items to be seized include residential properties and a fleet of motor vehicles.
Registrar of the High Court and Supreme Court Gladys Gondwe asked for time to check on proceedings of the case.