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Norman Chisale in hospital

Court document says suspect suffering from panic attacks

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Chimwemwe Shaba

Former president Peter Mutharika’s security aide, Norman Chisale, is hospitalised at a private clinic in Lilongwe, sources confirmed Tuesday.

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

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

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Sources at Maula Prison where he is remanded told The Daily Times Tuesday that Chisale, who was denied bail on August 28 by the High Court in Lilongwe in a case in which he is being accused of taking part in the murder of Issa Njauju, who until his death in 2014 was Anti- Corruption Bureau Director of Corporate Services, has been unwell for about a week now and that he has been hospitalised at Poly Care Clinic in Lilongwe’s Area 3.

Chisale’s lawyers have since reapplied for bail on conditions of the “deteriorating health” of their client.

According to documents supporting the bail reapplication filed on September 7, the health conditions cannot be managed within the Maula Prison environment.

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The lawyers argue that Chisale requires another environment other than the prison if he is in to fully recover.

The lawyers also argue that the therapy required cannot be administered and provided for in a prison environment as the same is one of the causes of his present condition.

Chisale’s hospitalisation at a private clinic has raised eyebrows over the treatment of people under incarceration.

While some analysts indicated that people in custody are only allowed to access medical treatment at a government facility, others noted that there is no law that stops inmates from accessing health care at a private hospital.

Efforts to speak to Chisale’s lawyer Chancy Gondwe proved futile as he could not pick up the calls or respond to text messages.

Chisale has been in custody since his first arrest on July 14, 2020.

He was first arrested in connection with the K5 billion duty-free cement procurement saga in which Mutharika’s Tax Payer Identification Number was used. Chisale had surrendered himself at Area 30 police headquarters.

He was rearrested on a charge of attempted murder of a Blantyre woman. The arrest happened immediately after he had been granted bail in the cement importation case.

Chisale was then rearrested in Blantyre for being suspected to have been involved in the murder of Njauju whose body was found half buried along the Kamuzu Palace Road.

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