Despite People’s Land Organization (PLO) leader Vincent Wandale claiming innocence on charges of obtaining money by false pretense, Thyolo residents have demanded that he must pay back their money arguing that he failed to provide land to them.
Wandale together with other PLO leaders Crispin Nkhoma, Precious Lexten and Robert Kambalame were arrested on charges of demanding money from the residents after telling them they were to get land from tea estates.
Speaking during court proceedings on Thursday in Blantyre, state witness Bridget Liwawala said Wandale must pay back the money.
Liwawala said though her receipts show that she paid K3600, she claimed that she actually paid more money to the group.
Replying on the matter, Wandale said the money was meant for the operations of the group and it was non-refundable.
“We never forced them to pay the money and it was for membership and this money was used to pay our lawyer, if they are saying we got money them it’s not true they know how that money was used and it was non-refundable,” said Wandale
He added that membership fee is not illegal in the country hence the grouping having it in its constitution.
Residents of Thyolo and Mulanje were seen to be in conflict with the law after they invaded Confonzi tea estate to share the land arguing it belongs to their ancestors.
Members of the grouping under the tag PLO were found guilty of charges levelled against them after the incident.
Meanwhile Principal Magistrate Innocent Nebi has adjourned Wandale’s case to Friday next week.