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Vincent Wandale challenges Magistrate’s court ruling

People’s Land Organisation (PLO) leader, Vincent Wandale, has challenged the Lilongwe Magistrates Court’s ruling that he should go for psychiatric treatment at Zomba Mental Hospital.

Wandale’s lawyer,Oscar Taulo, who on Friday said he has resolved differences which he had with his client, said he has already filed a challenge at the High Court.

Taulo said the medical report is not fair, saying an independent medical practitioner should be engaged to conduct mental examination on Wandale.

“In an event that even independent medical attesters find him mentally ill, it is not mandatory that he should be admitted to Zomba Mental Hospital. There are other hospitals in the country where he can go for medical treatment,” said Taulo.

He said the court has no right to make major decisions on Wandale’s health issues as this is not their duty.

“Mr. Wandale has the personal right guaranteed by the constitution to choose which doctors to give him treatment. This cannot be left in the hands of other people to decide apart from family and him as a person,” said Taulo

Senior Resident Magistrate, Paul Chiotcha, last week ruled that the medical report was very comprehensive. While stating that he will not make its contents public, he said he would only highlight issues that were related to the court proceedings.

Wandale, an interdicted civil servant, has been fighting for native land rights for years and declared the independence of Mulanje and Thyolo over what he called government’s failure to address the land challenges that people in the two tea growing districts are facing.

He was arrested late last month barely four days after his inauguration as leader of what he calls the African Traditionalist Republic of the United States of Thyolo and Mulanje was postponed indefinitely due to the heavy presence of police officers around where the ceremony was expected to take place.

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