The High Court in Blantyre has acquitted Peoples Land Organisation (PLO) leader Vincent Wandale on two counts of conspiracy to committing misdemeanour and criminal trespass.
However, the court has withheld the conviction on unauthorised use of land.
Lawyer for Wandale, Michael Goba Chipeta said he was yet to contact his client on the charge that has been upheld by Judge Silvester Kalembera.
“The lower court erred in convicting Mr Wandale. For instance, he pleaded not guilty to a offence he never committed, the criminal trespass charge was just an alternative charge,” said Chipeta.
In his ruling Justice Kalembera quashed Wandale’s conviction on the offence of conspiracy to commit an offence “when in totality of the evidence before the court, it did not establish or prove the offence.”
Kalembera upgelad and confirmed the sentence having considred that it was inevidence that Wandale issued a notice that they were going to occupy the land on September 1 2016 and the land was indeed invaded on the said date .
Chipeta wondered why the High Court upheld the criminal trespass charge when Wandale was at Comforzi Tea Estate in Thyolo, where he committed the offence for five hours only.
But Kalembera said under Section 21 of the Penal Code he was party to the commission of the offence.
Wandale and others were arrested for allegedly trying to grab idle land belonging to Comforzi Tea Eastate.
Just two weeks ago, he was also arrested for obtaining money by false pretence when he collected about K5 million from people in what he says are subscription fees for PLO. Each person paid K3000.