High Court condemns Norman Chisale’s preservation order challenge with costs

The High Court in Blantyre has today dismissed with costs an application by former bodyguard to erstwhile President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika, Norman Chisale, to challenge the constitutionality of the preservation order over his property.

Effectively, this means that the State will continue exercising authority over his property.

Chisale, a man who spent a good part of his last six years in a presidential palace, usually inches from the most powerful person in Malawi.

Chisale was asking the High Court, which was sitting as Constitutional Court, to determine the constitutionality of Section 65(2) of the Financial Crimes Act.

The section in question provides for the preservation of assets deemed to be illegally acquired. But the former Mutharika’s security aide argued that it violates human rights provisions enshrined in the Constitution.

He has cited provisions on the right to be heard, right to own property and right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Chisale also wanted the court to rule on whether or not the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) was within his mandate to commence civil proceedings by obtaining the preservation order on his property -when Section 99 of the Constitution says his mandate is on criminal matters only.

But in its ruling, the High Court said the preservation orders are Constitutional and that DPP has mandate to obtain the preservation order.

It therefore condemned Chisale’s application with costs.

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