Sunday, May 26, 2024

Supreme Court Orders Resumption of Chisale’s Fake Certificate Case

Chisale arrested

Trouble persists for Norman Chisale, the controversial former Presidential bodyguard, as the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal (MSCA) has rejected his bid to halt proceedings in a case where he is accused of presenting a fake academic qualification. Initially, in December 2021, the court had granted Chisale an interim order pausing the trial due to procedural and substantive concerns raised about the conduct of the trial by the lower court, the Senior Resident Magistrate’s Court.

However, in a recent ruling delivered in Blantyre, Justice of Appeal Sylvester Kalembera declared that the lower court was within its rights to continue prosecuting the case. He emphasized that the trial must proceed at the Senior Resident Magistrate’s Court as stipulated by the country’s Constitution under Section 42(2)(f)(i), and Chisale should not impede his own right to such a trial.

Kalembera further noted Chisale’s apparent lack of interest in the prosecution of the case, which has remained at a standstill since August 22, 2021.

Reads the ruling in part: “While appeals can be entertained by this court on judgements that are not final, the law has attempted to limit instances where this court should be hearing appeals on matters which have not been fully disposed of by the court below.

“It is imperative of me to caution myself on appeals coming to this court on issues that are not final that in the end, stifle trials and impact on the right to fair trial.”

When Chisale was arrested, the state proffered three charges. First, impersonating an individual named in a certificate, in violation of Section 391 read with Section 358 of the Penal Code; second, providing false information to a public servant, in violation of Section 122 of the Penal Code; and third, intimidation, as per Section 88 of the Penal Code.

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