By Deogratias Mmana
The High Court sitting in Lilongwe has dismissed an ex-parte application by former president Peter Mutharika’s bodyguard Norman Chisale to stop ongoing proceedings of his false information presentation case because the subordinate court allowed the prosecution to make amendments.
Chisale is charged with personating a person named in a certificate and another offence of presenting false information to a person employed in the public service. He is also charged with the offence of intimidation.
The original charge sheet alleges that Chisale, on September 6 1996, uttered a Junior Certificate of Education (JCE) certificate belonging to Pithius Hiwa and presented it to Alick Bentry Mhone, a recruiting officer in the Malawi Defence Force, at Ntcheu District headquarters.
In the second count, the particulars allege that Chisale, on September 6 1996, knowingly and fraudulently gave false information namely a JCE to a person employed in the public service (Mhone) at Ntcheu District headquarters.
As the trial progressed, and after Mhone had testified, the prosecution applied to amend the charges and the subordinate court allowed the prosecution to amend the charge sheet on the first two counts.
The court allowed the prosecution to replace the name of Alick Bentry Mhone with that of Gilbert Thomas Chaona. It also allowed the prosecution to replace Ntcheu District headquarters with Dedza District headquarters as the place where the certificate of Hiwa was purportedly presented.
Chisale felt aggrieved by the amendments and applied to the High Court to call for the record of the proceedings in the subordinate court, stay the said proceedings and review the propriety of the decision of the magistrate.
But Judge Redson Kapindu dismissed Chisale’s application to stop the ongoing proceedings in the subordinate court.
“Simply put, I am not satisfied that the applicant’s ex-parte application herein has attained the requisite threshold as to move the court to stop the ongoing proceedings in the court below and to review the propriety of the decision of the presiding learned Senior Resident Magistrate in allowing the amendments of the charges herein,” reads Kapindu’s ruling dated March 29 2021.
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