Supreme Court of Appeal Judge Lovemore Chikopa has rejected an application by former President Peter Mutharika’s personal bodyguard Norman Chisale his application to be granted an injunction restraining police from arresting him further.
Justice Chikopa observes that granting such an injunction is equal to unnecessary interference in law enforcement operations of the Malawi police service.
A lawyer representing Chisale, Chancy Gondwe, applied for a judicial review and an interlocutory injunction before High Court Judge Charles Mkandawire in Lilongwe on police conduct of effecting multiple arrests.
Mkandawire granted Gondwe’s request for a judicial review but declined to grant the interlocutory injunction and stay order against the Malawi Police Service on multiple, consecutive and endless arrests.
And following Mkandawire’s decision not to grant the temporary relief, Gondwe appealed to the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal.
In his judgement, Justice of Appeal Lovemore Chikopa, sitting as a single Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal judge, said the relief sought by Chisale was “too general/wide” and that “in point of fact it is impossible” to grant the same.
The judge said: “Granting the injunction sought by the applicant [Chisale] would prevent law enforcement from even engaging in such consideration. They [police] would effectively never arrest/prosecute even in the face of good enough reason.
“We agree that the citizenry should be protected from unlawful arrests. That arresting an accused three times within three weeks might not sound legitimate. [But] it is our further view that our laws have an inbuilt protective mechanism against instances, potential or actual of the abuse of the powers of arrest.
“It [the law] specifically lays out how and when an arrest can/should be made. In either case, we think it is better, unless the situation leaves us with no other choice, to deal with alleged abuses after the arrest than to order the police not to arrest at all.”
Chisale, who is currently on remand at Maula Prison, was re-arrested two weeks ago upon his release from Chichiri Prison in Blantyre for allegedly having a hand in the murder of former Anti-Corruption Bureau director of corporate services Issa Njauju.
Njauju was brutally murdered in July 2015, sparking calls from civil society organisations and opposition political parties for the ousted Democratic Progressive Party government to bring his killers to book.
Chisale was first arrested on July 15 this year in Lilongwe in the controversial K5 billion cement importation saga for which he was charged with money laundering and fraud. He was later rearrested for the shooting of a 35-year-old woman in Chimwankhunda in May this year.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :