The Supreme Court of Appeal has rebuffed the State on behalf of Malawi Defence Force Commander General Vincent Nundwe ruling in favour of vocal social media influencer and business magnet, Joshua Chisa Mbele allowing his criminal defamation case to go to the Constitutional Court.
Presiding Judge, Justice of Appeal (JA) Ivy Kamanga in quashing the State’s case described the application by the state to block the move as an abuse of the court process.
Justice Kamanga has made the determination Friday ruling on the state’s application seeking a stay on order of the High Court’s ruling that referred the case to the Constitutional Court.
In her ruling, Justice Kamanga bluntly dismissed the application in its entirety saying that the State’s application lacked merit.
She ruled: “The application by the State is baseless, vexatious, frivolous and an abuse of court’s process.”
Gilbert Khonyongwa, representing Chisa Mbele who is widely known as Mneneri Yoswa by his Facebook followers from across the country said the case has now been declared to be certified as a constitutional matter.
Representing the State, Limbikani Msiska, Senior State Advocate, said the state will avail itself at the constitutional court to argue its case.
Mbele was arrested after he posted on Facebook earlier this year a document, which alleged that Malawi Defence Force Commander, General Vincent Nundwe was one of the people who allegedly sourced money from businessman Zuneth Sattar.
Mbele deleted the post a few minutes after posting it.
Earlier this year High Court Judge Annabel Mtalanja dismissed an application by the State to stay a decision to certify the matter involving General Vincent Nundwe against Joshuwa Chisa Mbele as a constitutional matter.
The State made the application following Judge Mtalimanja’s decision of sending the matter to Chief Justice Rizine Mzikamanda for certification as a constitutional matter.
The court has however allowed the state to apply for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court on certification of the case.
The referral followed an application, which Mbele’s attorney Gilbert Khonyongwa made challenging the constitutionality of the a first count – criminal libel.
Thus, Mtalimanja dismissed the application for stay, granted the application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court.
This means therefore that the proceedings in the Senior Resident Magistrate’s Court continued to be stayed waiting for the constitutional court referral by the highest court in the the country, The Supreme Court of Appeal.
Chisa Mbele, who was arrested in January this year and is currently on court bail, is facing two counts of criminal libel and publication of offensive communication.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :