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Vincent Wandale seeks nod for trip

By Macdonald Thom:

People’s Land Organisation (PLO) leader, Vincent Wandale, has sought permission from the Magistrate’s Court in Lilongwe to travel to Zambia for medical attention.

Wandale was released on bail in February 2018 by the Magistrate’s Court following his arrest in October 2017 on the charge of publication of false statements likely to cause fear and alarm to the public.

According to ex-partes summons for an application for order of leave to allow Wandale to travel, dated March 28 2019, the court is expected to hear the application today.

“Let the party concerned attend the Magistrate in Chamber at Lilongwe Magistrate Court on the 4th day of April 2019 at 9 O’clock in the forenoon on the hearing of an application on the part of the accused for an order to vary conditions restricting applicant’s movement and grant him leave allowing him to travel to Zambia for medical attention and order for leave allowing the Immigration Department process the applicant’s travelling documents,” the summons reads.

The document adds: “Take note that the affidavit of Vincent Wandale filed herein and attached hereto, will be read in support of the application.”

Soon after Wandale was granted bail, his lawyer Oscar Taulo said one of the bail conditions was that he was supposed to be reporting to the National Police Headquarters once every fortnight.

Taulo also said Wandale was barred from making comments regarding his case and that the court ordered that he should avail himself for trial when the dates are set.

Wandale, an interdicted civil servant, has been fighting for land rights for people of Mulanje and Thyolo districts. He has been accusing the government of failing to address the land challenges people in the two tea-growing districts face.

He was arrested in October 2017, four days after his inauguration as the leader of what he called 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, Senior Resident Magistrate, Paul Chiotcha, ruled that Wandale was not fit for trial and he was sent to Zomba Mental Hospital for treatment.

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