The Supreme Court of Appeal on Thursday denied Norman Chisale’s application for an injunction against any further arrests.
Chisale who is former President Peter Mutharika’s aide applied for an injunction against any further arrests and also judicial review on his endless arrests.
The High Court had granted Chisale leave for the judicial review but denied granting an injunction against any further arrests a decision which forced Chisale to appeal in the Supreme Court of Appeal.
But Justice Lovemore Chikopa, while acknowledging that the actions of the state threaten Chisale’s right to liberty, said the injunction could not be granted.
“Beginning with the injunction, we doubt any court can grant it. It is too general/wide and is clearly equal to an unnecessary interference in law enforcement police work,” reads the ruling in part.
Chikopa said granting the injunction would limit the police’s discretion to arrest him even when they have valid reasons for the arrest.
“We should, we think, always allow the respondent the opportunity to exercise his lawful discretion on who to arrest and for what. As long as, of course, they abide by the law,” he said.
Chisale was first arrested for the issue surrounding the procurement of cement from Zambia and Zimbabwe, which was imported into the country using Mutharika’s tax pin.
He was released on bail, but was rearrested for another charge of attempt murder as it is alleged that he shot a woman in Blantyre.
Chisale was again arrested for being suspected to have had a hand in a murder of former Anti-Corruption Bureau official Issa Njauju.
Chikopa, however, noted that any such arrest and detention or any other arrest and detention has to be in line with the law.
“The respondent having realised the error of his ways and the way to remedy the situation need only conduct himself in the manner of a law abiding, law enforcement officer. He does not need a court to do that,” reads the ruling.