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Vincent Wandale denied trip permission

By Macdonad Thom:

ON GOVERNMENT’S NECK—Wandale

The Magistrates’ Court in Lilongwe has denied People’s Land Organisation (PLO) leader, Vincent Wandale, permission to travel to Zambia for medical attention.

This follows the expiry of the dates that he booked to meet a doctor. It has transpired that Wandale planned to meet the doctor on March 26 2019 and March 29 2019.

The court has, however, told the PLO leader to file a fresh application bearing new appointments’ date with the doctor.

What was initially ex-partes hearing turned into interpartes Thursday with police prosecutor, Napier Chafikana, highlighting the issue of the dates of the appointment in his objection to the application.

Although Wandale’s lawyer, Oscar Taulo, told the court that they have new appointment dates, Senior Resident Magistrate, Paul Chiotcha, did not grant his client the permission.

In an interview after the court proceedings, Taulo said they would file the fresh application.

“We have already been given dates to meet the doctor. What we have to do is to sort out other issues the court wants. We have been told to provide clear physical addresses of where my client is going, as well as to make sure that on the day the application will be heard, one of Wandale’s sureties must be examined,” Taulo said.

Wandale was released on bail in February 2018 by the Magistrates’ Court following his arrest on the charge of publication of false statements likely to cause fear and alarm to the public.

One of the bail conditions, according to Taulo, is that Wandale is not supposed to travel outside the country without permission, he must report to National Police Headquarters once every fortnight and he was barred from commenting on the case.

Wandale, an interdicted civil servant, has been fighting for land rights for people of Mulanje and Thyolo districts.

He was arrested in October 2017, four days after his inauguration as leader of what he called the Traditionalist Republic of the United States of Thyolo and Mulanje was postponed indefinitely due to heavy presence of police officers around the venue of the ceremony.

Before the case started, Chiotcha ruled that Wandale was unfit for trial and that he should be sent to Zomba Mental Hospital for treatment.

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