President of People’s Land Organization (PLO) Vincent Wandale on Thursday denied four charges related to his attempts to grab land belonging to estates in Thyolo and Mulanje.
Appearing before the Blantyre magistrate court, Wandale pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit misdemeanour, unauthorised use of land, inciting violence and criminal trespass.
On September 1, Wandale mobilised a group of Thyolo and Mulanje residents to share land belonging to Conforzi Plantation Limited in Thyolo. The incident led to running battles with the police and to the arrest of 20 people. Wandale was arrested a day later.
The 20 other suspects are being tried together with Wandale and they also pleaded not guilty to charges laid against them.
Speaking in court, Wandale asked the presiding magistrate Thokozani Soko to give him plus the others bail saying the place where they are being kept is not in a good condition for a person to live in.
He further told the presiding magistrate that he is protected by the laws of the republic of Thyolo and Mulanje where he claims to be president and being a leader of people from the two districts he was not supposed to be arrested.
Reacting to the request, the magistrate denied the group bail saying they can run away any time if let free.
She added that she does not have the power to change the place where he is being kept since it is only the High Court that orders such changes.
The Magistrate also told Wandale that she only recognises President Peter Mutharika who is the leader of all people in Malawi including Mulanje and Thyolo.