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Malawi nationalist Wandale appeals against conviction

BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)-The self-acclaimed supreme leader of Peoples Land Organization (PLO) leader Vincent Wandale has finally appealed against his conviction and sentencing by the Senior Resident Magistrates Court in Blantyre.

Wandale’s lawyer Michael Goba Chipeta confirmed that his client has appealed against the conviction based on grave errors the court made when reaching its decision to convict and sentence him.

Wandale; the court erred
Wandale; the court erred

Chipeta said that the state failed to specify the misdemeanor his client committed arguing that the court failed to prove any use of land and physical presence of Wandale at the scene

He added that the appeal against Wandale’s conviction and subsequent sentence will be held at High Court in Blantyre.

Wandale even threated to take the matter to International Criminal Court (ICC) in Hague seeking intervention.

The supreme leader was convicted on November 3, this year and was given an 18-month suspended sentence on November 8, for conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor, criminal trespass and aiding and abating illegal use of land.

Wandales conviction followed full trial after he was arrested on September 3, this year in the capital Lilongwe following reports that he led hundreds of locals to invade private-owned Conforzi Estate in Thyolo district.

He even authored a strong letter titled, The African Traditionalist Government of The United States of Thyolo and Mulanje (MUST) declaring war against the foreign aggression from their ancestors land.

The letter which the Maravi Post sourced at that time aided his arrest and in part it red; Following the powers vested in the Supreme Leader by article 110 of the Constitution of the African Traditionalist Republic of the United States of Thyolo and Mulanje (MUST) on declaration of war and peace and the mobilization of the armed forces, the African Traditionalist Government of the United States of Thyolo and Mulanje (MUST) has declared a state of war against the Republic of Malawi and shall commence hostilities on Friday, the 9th of September, in the year 2016 to ward off the foreign aggression unleashed by the Republic of Malawi. All neutral neighboring States including Mozambique, Tanzania, and Zambia are asked to take note of this development.

“All citizens of the African Traditionalist Republic of MUST are being asked to gear up for war and undergo military training as provided for in the Constitution of the African Traditionalist Republic of MUST. Corporate taxation without exemption shall be levied on all colonial estate companies in Thyolo and Mulanje to finance state operations and the war effort and any defaults shall be resolved by nationalizing the concerned estate”, concluded Wandale’s statement.

In April this year, Wandale declared Thyolo and Mulanje as independent states calling it the “United States of Mulanje and Thyolo” purportedly on behalf of the group.

He gave government up to September 1 to resolve the land issue by giving them back their forefather’s land or would start distributing among them.

The PLO has been agitating for the local peoples occupation of all idle tea estates land in the districts since its establishment in 2009.

The organization has been demanding that estates owners pay £65 (about K53 000) per acre per year for all used colonial estate land from 1914 to date.

PLO has also been requesting from the estates owners a wage rate of £6.13 per hour (about K5 000) per individual for those who were involved in Thangata (bonded labour) between 1914 and 1963.

 

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