Private practice lawyer Oscra Taulo on Monday tasked Lilongwe Maigstrate Court to discharge himself from representing self-styled supreme leader of People’s Land Organisation (PLO) Vincent Wandale.
Wandale, who has been claiming that he is the leader of a country called the United States of Mulanje and Thyolo and mobilised some people in his quest to create the two districts as separate from Malawi, appeared in court when it was presented with a medical report on his mental health.
Court ruled Wandale should undergo a mental examination to determine if he is fit to stand trial in a case in which he is charged with publication of false statements likely to cause fear and alarm to the public.
But Wandale asked the court to be permitted to be presenting some points alongside his lawyer but Senior Resident Magistrate Paul Chiotcha ruled him out , saying it was irregular.
“I will largely represent myself in the case,” said Wandale
The court asked Wandale to discuss with his lawyer and after a brief adjournment, Taulo asked to be discharged himself from the case, citing conflicts with his client.
“From now onwards, the accused will be representing himself,” said Taulo.
Wandale asked the court to release him on bail before discussing his medical examination report.
The report was however presented in camera as as the court said it contained “some confidential information.”
Apart from this case, Wandale and four other members of his organisation are currently answering charges of obtaining money by false pretence.
They were arrested after about 54 villagers from Thyolo complained to authorities that they collected money amounting to K3.1 million from them promising to give them land.
The four pleaded not guilty to the charge, arguing the villagers paid the money as membership fees. They were released on bail in May this year.