Court rebuffs state over Wandale reception order

The Chief Resident Magistrate’s court has dismissed an application for a reception order by the State to have Peoples Land Organisation (PLO) leader Mussauwa Vincent Wandale medically assessed over his mental wellness.

In the application, the State told the Court that the defendant was diagnosed with a mental disorder and doctors from both Zambia and Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) recommended to have his early retirement on medical grounds.

Argued the State: “Indeed, a reception order was made in line with section 16 of the Mental Treatment Act on 16th November 2017 for the defendants mental examination and treatment at Zomba Mental Hospital.

“He has attended different other hospitals for treatment including in Zambia and the Kamuzu Central Hospital where he was diagnosed to have a mental disorder and recommended his early retirement on medical grounds.”

The development follows another application for discontinuation of the matter that the State applied last month and was granted by the same court.

But in her four-page ruling, Magistrate Madalitso Khoswe Chimwaza has said there is no justification for the court to make a reception order since the case has been discontinued.

“Since the case has been discontinued and the accused has been discharged, the court leaves the responsibility to the family so that they take proper care of him to ensure that he does not cause injury to himself or any other person and most importantly seek mental treatment for him at an institution of their choice,” reads part of the ruling.

Wandale, was initially arrested in 2017 and stand charged with an offense of publication of false news likely to cause fear and alarm to the public after declaring that Mulanje and Thyolo districts are a sovereign State.

Whilst commending the Court for the ruling, Wandale has maintained that he will seek the acclaimed medical assessment outside the country.

“I have accepted the ruling that it is a fair ruling, as far as I am concerned, what I will do is that I will just go for medical treatment somewhere outside the country where I will confirm whether indeed, I have a problem or not,” Wandale said.

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