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Norman Chisale takes certificate case to Supreme Court

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Steven Kayuni

Supreme Court of Appeal Justice Lovemore Chikopa has reserved his ruling in a case where former president Peter Mutharika’s bodyguard Norman Chisale has appealed against the High Court ruling that gave the State the leeway to amend the charge sheet in the case where he is being accused of using another man’s certificate to get a job.

This comes after, in August this year, the High Court sitting in Lilongwe turned down Chisale’s application.

According to Ministry of Justice spokesperson Pirirani Masanjala, the matter was heard on Thursday last week.

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“I can confirm that we were in court on Thursday, when Chisale was applying to the Supreme Court for permission to appeal against the decision of Judge [Annabel] Mtalimanja after she decided that the trial that was before the Senior Resident Magistrate court should proceed. This decision was made in August 2021,” he said.

According to Masanjala, the State opposed the application because the decision of the High Court was not amenable to appeal. The case is being presided over by Lilongwe Chief Resident Magistrate Patrick Chirwa.

The State applied to the Chief Resident Magistrate Court to amend charges in the case after the court heard the testimony of Major General Alick Bentry Mhone of the Malawi Defence Force (MDF).

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The subordinate court allowed the State to replace the name of Mhone with that of Brigadier General Gilbert Thomas Chaona and make other amendments.

Dissatisfied with the decision of the subordinate court, Chisale, through his lawyer Fostino Mayele, applied to the High Court to call legal propriety of the said decision by the Chief Resident Magistrate.

In her ruling, Mtalimanja gave the State the go-ahead to proceed with an amended charge sheet.

Mtalimanja said Chisale was not prejudiced and that the matter should proceed in the magistrate court.

Director of Public Prosecutions Steve Kayuni indicated at the time that he was satisfied with the ruling.

“As rightly observed by the High Court, pursuant to the dictates of the law, justice must be done without undue regard to technicalities. We shall go back to the court below and proceed with the trial on directions of the magistrate,” Kayuni said.

The magistrate court in Lilongwe is expected to set a date for the continued hearing of the matter.

Chisale is accused of using a certificate belonging to a relative, Pythias Hiwa, to secure a job with MDF in 1996. for the record of the proceedings and stay the proceedings and review the same as regards the legal propriety of the said decision by the Chief Resident Magistrate.

In her ruling, Mtalimanja gave the State the go-ahead to proceed with an amended charge sheet.

Mtalimanja said Chisale was not prejudiced and that the matter should proceed in the magistrate court.

Director of Public Prosecutions Steve Kayuni indicated at the time that he was satisfied with the ruling.

“As rightly observed by the High Court, pursuant to the dictates of the law, justice must be done without undue regard to technicalities. We shall go back to the court below and proceed with the trial on directions of the magistrate,” Kayuni said.

The magistrate court in Lilongwe is expected to set a date for the continued hearing of the matter.

Chisale is accused of using a certificate belonging to a relative, Pythias Hiwa, to secure a job with MDF in 1996.

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