The High Court in Zomba has ordered that an application not to be sent to Zomba Mental Hospital by self the self-proclaimed ‘supreme leader’ of the so-called independent country, United States of Mulanje and Thyolo (Must), Vincent Wandale, be heard by the Lilongwe High Court.
Medical doctors said Wandale is suffering from a mental disorder and recommended that he should undergo mental rehabilitation.
In his application, Wandale is challenging the order by Lilongwe High court to have him sent to Zomba Mental Hospital for mental illness treatment, claiming “I am a person of sound mind”.
High Court Judge, Radison Kapindu made the order in reaction to Wandale’s 20 page application where he is challenging the order to have him referred to Zomba Mental Hospital for mental illness treatment.
Kapindu said Wandale is in Zomba Mental Hospital only for treatment, therefore his application should be heard by the High Court in Lilongwe where the matter commenced.
The judge suggested that Wandale be represented by a legal counsel saying he (Wandale) has the right to formal justice and right to challenge his detention.
However, Wandale told the court: “I have made the application to Zomba High Court because that is where I am currently, it’s convenient.”
Police in Lilongwe arrested Wandale in October this tear after 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.
Wandale is currently representing himself after a lawyer he hired lost an application on forced admission and medical treatment to Zomba Mental Hospital.
“I will be representing myself because the lawyer I engaged lost an application and didn’t engage him again, after all, I have done that before,” said Wandale who was dressed in a black suit and looked calm for the rest of the court proceedings.
Wandale, who remains on the Malawi Government payroll as a 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).