Wandale hires lawyer Goba, case moving to Thyolo: Malawi tea eastates land grab

The self-proclaimed supreme leader of the so-called United States of Thyolo and Mulanje and Peoples’ Land Organisation (PLO), Vincent Wandale, has hired defence lawyer Michael Goba Chipeta of Gobz and Rechtswissnschaft Legal Practitioners to represent him and his Vice Chrispin Nkhoma.

Wandale: To have case trial in his 'State' Thyolo
Wandale: To have case trial in his ‘State’ Thyolo

Wandale, Nkhoma and 22 members of PLO were arrested on September 2 and September 1 2016 after hundreds of PLO memebers, mostly from Thyolo, invaded privately-owned Conforzi Tea Estate in Thyolo and started sharing land among them.

He has since been charged with four counts of conspiracy to commit a misdemeanour, unauthorised use of land, criminal trespass and inciting violence.

However,  on Monday at the Blantyre Magistrate’s Court, lawyer Goba Chipeta asked the court to give him more time to familiarise himself with the case.

The lawyer said Wandale has instructed him that he should represent all the suspects.

“When they contacted me, I had an impression that I will only represent the two but I have just been told right now that I should represent all of them,” Chipeta told the court.

“ So I need time to consult my client on this and since I have just been served with the disclosures, I would like to be given time to go through the disclosures for a clear understanding of the case,” said Chipeta.

David Mtete, prosecuting,  did not object to defence plea to have some time  and told court that the State will parade four witnesses .

Mtete also asked that on September 14 the court be moved to Thyolo at the exact place of the scene as requested by one of the witnesses and as provided in section 73 (3) of the constitution of Malawi.

Magistrate Soko has since agreed to move the court to Thyolo on Wednesday.

Senior Resident Magistrate Thokozani Soko adjourned the case to Wednesday September 14 2016.

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