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Vincent Wandale sues government

By Feston Malekezo:

Self-acclaimed leader of People’s Land Organisation, Vincent Wandale, has dragged the government to court for forcing him to take medication at a psychiatric hospital as well as constructively dismissing him from the civil service.

Wandale’s lawyer, Oscar Taulo, Sunday said they have logged the two complaints at the Constitutional and Labour Relations courts.

“On the first count, which is in the Constitutional Court, we want it [the court] to interpret whether it is right to take somebody to the hospital for a forced medical treatment,” he said.

In November last year, Senior Resident Magistrate Paul Chiotcha made a ruling after examining Wandale’s medical report by a psychiatrist at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) that Wandale was not fit to stand trial and ordered him to go to Zomba Mental Hospital for treatment.

On the other count, Taulo said Wandale was suspended and has never been paid since then.

“There was a time Mr Wandale was an employee of the government. He got suspended and he has not been paid anything to date. To us, we feel it is constructive dismissal,” he said.

Meanwhile, registrar of the court who doubles as the spokesperson of the Judiciary, Agnes Patemba, said she was not aware of the summons.

“Ask me tomorrow, I should be able to get that [details of the case] when I get to the office,” she said.

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

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