The Lilongwe Magistrate’s Court has thrown out an application by lawyers for former president Peter Mutharika’s bodyguard Norman Chisale to pend court proceedings of his alleged fake certificate.
The lawyers Chancy Gondwe, Gilbert Khonyongwa and Fostino Mayele yesterday asked the court to pend trial proceedings, saying they had made an application to have preliminary issues of the case review.ed
However, senior resident magistrate Shyreen Chirwa ruled that the case will continue, stating the defence did not give proof that there is an application before the High Court to review preliminary issues.
She said: “The defence has also not shown what damage will be caused if the case proceeds while waiting for the review.”
Chirwa then ordered that the case should proceed with the State expected to parade seven witnesses.
Yesterday, the State paraded one witness Pithius Hiwa whose Junior Certificate of Education is suspected to have been used by Chisale to get recruited at Malawi Defence Force (MDF).
He told the court that in 1996, he was left out of MDF recruitment exercise in Ntcheu but was surprised to get a call from his uncle that he had been picked. When he inquired, he discovered that a different person had been employed using his name Pithias Hiwa.
He said he tried to take legal action by engaging Legal Aid Bureau and later Anti-Corruption Bureau but his efforts were in vain.
He said in 2012, he reported the matter to Military Police after meeting Chisale who allegedly started hunting for him.
By then he said he had secured a job at Kamuzu Barracks Peoples Supermarket in Lilongwe, where Chisale was based.
Said Hiwa: “Chisale came to my workplace and asked me if I was aware that my brother is in South Africa to which I answered yes.I was later advised by some people not to sleep at my house. My wife later informed me that Chisale visited our house.
“The visit was not in good faith, as he was trying to get rid of me so that I do not claim my certificate.”
The witness said he later fled to Zambia to preserve his life.
However, when cross-examined by Chisale’s lawyers, Hiwa said he never reported the theft of his certificate 1996 to Malawi Police Service. He said it is only this year that the police approached him about his certificate case.
The only efforts he made to fight for his certificate was to go to Legal Aid Bureau, Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and Military Police. However, at Legal Aid he felt he was not being assisted while at ACB, the person who was handling the case died and his file was later damaged in a fire. At Military Police, he said he was only informed that he would be told the outcome of the case.
Hiwa could also not justify that he met Chisale in 2012 and saw him working at the barracks after Chisale’s lawyers told him that Chisale retired between 2007 and 2008.
The court has since adjourned to December 4 2020 when it will continue to hear witnesses by the State.