5 April 2019

Malawi: Wandale Trip to Zambia Blocked By Court - to Make Fresh Application

The self-proclaimed 'supreme leader' of the so-called independent country, United States of Mulanje and Thyolo (Must), Vincent Wandale, has been denied by the court in Lilongwe permission to travel to Zambia for medical attention.

Wandale wants to travel to Zambia for medical attention.

Wandale, who was released on bail in February 2018 by the Lilongwe 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, has asked to allow him travel to Zambia for medical attention.

His lawyer Oscar Taulo said his client needed to see the doctor.

But Police prosecutor Napier Chafikana said Wandale's medial appointment dates were on March 26 2019 and March 29 2019.

The court refused to grant him permission because th date for the medical appointment had expired.

His lawyer said in an interview he will make a fresh application with "new dates" of medical appointment.

"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 arrested in October 2017,hafter he declared a new government for Thyolo and Mulanje, claiming secession from Malawi. He is facing trial for false statements likely to cause fear and alarm.

Doctors who examined Wandale after court order recommended that he should undergo mental rehabilitation. He was sent to Zomba Mental Hospital and declared not fit to stand trial.

Wandale, an interdicted civil servant in the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development stationed at Lilongwe Agriculture Development Division (ADD), first came to the limelight after spearheading a movement for people's land rights in Mulanje and Thyolo, predominantly tea-growing districts with huge tea plantations.

He was previously arrested and tried for trespassing after threatening to grab land from estate owners to freely distribute to landless people in his capacity as leader of People's Land Organisation (PLO).

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