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Vincent Wandale case goes to estates

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Hearing of the case in which members of People’s Land Organisation (PLO) are answering charges of unauthorised use of land and criminal trespassing will now take place at Conforzi Tea Estate on Wednesday.

The court sitting has been transferred to the place of incident, following the state’s request on Monday.

During the hearing of the case in a jam-packed Magistrate’s Court in Blantyre Monday, the proceedings delayed because lawyer for the accused, Michael Chipeta, had a meeting with one of the judges at the court.

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Chipeta entered the court around 11:31am when the hearing was scheduled to commence at 9am.

The lawyer then asked the presiding magistrate, Thokozani Soko, to adjourn the case due to time constraints and also because he wanted to go through the documents he received from the state.

The lawyer explained that he was approached by two of the accused, Vincent Wandale and Chrispine Nkhoma over the weekend to represent them; hence, he needs time to talk to his clients and to gather facts on the matter.

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“My Lord, we ask for adjournment of the case to Wednesday September 14, so I can have time to prepare. I will need time to hear the story from my clients and gather enough facts to see the way forward,” Chipeta said.

The request was made when the state was ready to parade their four witnesses.

The state did not object to the request.

The prosecution then asked the judge if they could take advantage of Wednesday to have the matter heard at the estate where the offence took place.

“We would like to ask the court to transfer the case so that on Wednesday the court can sit at Conforzi Tea Estate where the incident took place so that our witnesses can appreciate and demonstrate what happened on the day. We will arrange all the logistics in terms of transportation as we have a lorry readily available for the accused,”

Southern Region Police Prosecutor, Davie Mtete, said.

The 21 PLO members are answering conspiracy to misdemeanor, unauthorised use of land and criminal trespassing while Wandale and Nkhoma have on their charge sheet an extra offence of threatening violence. The accused were arrested on September 1 and are still on remand at Chichiri prison

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