The Blantyre Principal Magistrate’s Court yesterday granted bail to People’s Land Organisation (PLO) leader, Vincent Wandale, and his three accomplices who are answering the charge of theft by false pretence.
Wandale—alongside Chrispin Nkhoma, Precious Lesten and Robert Kambalame of PLO—are being accused of soliciting money from the complainants after promising them land which they did not acquire.
Plans by members of the PLO to acquire land from Conforzi Estates were foiled on September 1 last year when the police arrived at the scene to arrest them.
When the court reconvened Wednesday morning, the State, through Prosecutor Damiano Kaputa, objected to the bail application, saying Wandale did not produce any document to support claims of his ill-health he cited as one of the reasons to be released on bail.
“Mr. Wandale did not provide us with any document saying that he was sick for us to facilitate his medical treatment. Again, one of our witnesses was intimidated on Monday by one of the relatives of the accused. The accused can interfere with our witnesses if they are released on bail,” he said.
But Principal Resident Magistrate Innocent Nebi released the four on the condition that they each pay K15,000, produce a traceable surety and report to Blantyre Police Station every Friday.
In an interview, Wandale said he had written the International Court of Justice to seek legal redress on what he calls political persecution in a foreign country.
He repeated his declaration the people of Mulanje and Thyolo formed their own country in March last year and Malawian police and courts do not have jurisdiction to try him and his accomplices.
“The law of self-determination is applicable here in Malawi according to the United Nations Convention of Civil and Political Rights. The magistrate, however, said he will continue trying us since he does not have any letter that Mulanje and Thyolo have ceased to be part of Malawi and we have written the International Court of Justice to seek redress,” he said.
Nebi has since adjourned the case to tomorrow 2pm when examination of the surety will take place.
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