The self-proclaimed ‘supreme leader’ of the so-called independent country, United States of Mulanje and Thyolo (Must), Vincent Wandale, on Monday spend a night at Zomba Mental Hospital after medical doctors certified him that he is suffering from a mental disorder and court ordered he be sent to psychiatric facility.
Doctors who examined Wandale recommended to Lilongwe Magistrate Court that he should undergo mental rehabilitation.
But Wandale said he wants “to be taken to a hospital of my interest” and has since filed with High Court through his lawyer Oscar Taulo challenge the order that he should be at psychiatric facility.
Police in Lilongwe arrested Wandale last month 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.
Presiding senior magistrate Paul Chiotcha will determine the way forward for the case after the hospital reports on Wandale’s condition.
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).