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No respite for Norman Chisale

Court rejects mental health claim

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By Wezzie Gausi:

The High Court in Lilongwe has for the second time denied bail to former president Peter Mutharika’s security aide, Norman Chisale, who was arrested in connection with the death of Issa Njauju.

Njauju was, until his death, Director of Corporate Services at the Anti-Corruption Bureau.

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Chisale was first arrested in relation to the importation of cement duty free using Mutharika’s Taxpayer Identification Number before he was picked again apparently for shooting at a woman in Chimwankhunda Township, Blantyre.

He was granted bail in both cases before being rearrested in relation to the Njauju case.

The defence applied for bail on arguments that from medical examination, Chisale was diagnosed with anxiety disorder and panic attacks.

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It was reported that the disorder was being worsened by the prison environment as the patient requires another environment to fully recover from the same.

Presiding over the bail ruling, Justice Ivy Kamanga wondered how a person with mental disorder could be signing affidavits.

State lawyers told the court that they are ready to engage certified doctors at Zomba Mental Hospital to conduct thorough examinations on Chisale.

The case has been adjourned to a later date as Kamanga has ordered that the mental report should be provided within two weeks.

Defence lawyer, Chancy Gondwe, was not available for comment but Ministry of Justice spokesperson Pilirani Masanjala confirmed that the bail plea was thrown out.

Masanjala said he could not comment any further as it is the defence that applied for the bail.

On August 28, 2020 the court also rejected Chisale’s appeal that he should be released on bail.

Chisale did not personally appear in Judge Kamanga’s chamber for bail ruling but was represented by his lawyer Gondwe.

On September 15, Chisale was reported to have been hospitalised at a private clinic in Lilongwe.

According to a court document, Chisale was suffering from anxiety disorder and panic attacks.

But Malawi Prisons spokesperson Chimwemwe Shaba could not shed more light on the matter, saying ethics do not allow them to discuss the health of inmates with the media.

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