Malawi: Attorney General Questions How Chisale Accumulated a Lot of Wealth in Just Six Years

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Malawi’s Attorney General Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda has has questioned how a mere security aide to former President, Arthur Peter Mutharika, Norman Paulos Chisale, whose monthly salary was less than K500, 000 could accumulate such wealth and own property worth K3 billion in just six years.

The Government’s top lawyer, Nyirenda, wondered during court proceedings as how and where did Chisale got all the wealth amounting to billions of Kwachas from, as his only source of income was his employment as a presidential security aide.

However, the State has pegged the property forfeited from Norman Chisale, former security aide to ex-President Peter Mutharika at K3 billion, a jump from the initial K1.7 billion.

The State disclosed this during the hearing of a constitutional matter in the High Court in which Chisale and others are challenging some provisions in the Financial Crimes Act, which used to obtain a preservation order on their property.

However, the State disclosed to the court that the value of the property might even reach MK5 billion as they were yet to value 12 other remaining properties.

A panel of three judges namely; Judges Kenan Manda, Dingwiswayo Madise and Anneline Kanthambi, however, has deferred a judgment in the case in which Chisale is asking the court to interpret if some provisions of the Financial Crimes Act are constitutional, in respect to the preservation order which was granted in forfeiting his property.

Chisale through his lawyers Chauncy Gondwe and James Masumbu have raised questions which they want the court to interpret if they are Constitutional.

Chisale wants the court to interpret on whether or not the decision by the Director of Public Prosecution to obtain the preservation order in a civil case under the Financial Crimes Act was Constitutional.

Chisale’s Chauncy Gondwe argued before the court that the constitution only mandates the Director of Public Prosecution to commence and discontinue criminal cases.

Gondwe also wants the court to also interpret on whether or not the ex-parte preservation order which the state obtained to forfeit Chisale’s assets is constitutional in respect to the right to own property, dignity and be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Chisale’s Attorney, Chauncy Gondwe further argued that the state sought the order without giving notice to Chisale and others, thereby taking away their right to own property- dignity and a right to presumed innocent until proven guilty.

In response to Chisale’s lawyer’s arguments the State comprising the Director of Prosecution (DPP) Dr. Steven Kayuni and Attorney General Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda on whether the Director of Prosecution has mandate to commence criminal proceedings argued that the financial crimes Act gives power to a number of bodies including the office the DPP to commence preservation order proceedings.

And the question of Chisale’s right to freely own property the State argued that it is necessary to forfeit the property because there is evidence that Chisale has property worth over K3 billion suspected to have been obtained illegally.

The State further argued that there is no right to own property illegally.

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