A key witness in a case in which former presidential security aide Norman Chisale is accused of forging academic qualifications to join the military, yesterday told court that two individuals linked to Chisale both sat for the Junior Certificate of Education (JCE) with contrasting fortunes.
One Pythias Hiwa passed his examinations while a Norman Chisale failed at the same examination centre, Nsipe Community Day Secondary School (CDSS) in 1995, former Malawi National Examination Board (Maneb) executive director Gerald Chiunda told court.
Chiunda told the court that Maneb records show that both Hiwa and Norman Chisale attempted JCE once and that both Hiwa and Chisale were students at Nsipe CDSS.
The prosecution, which paraded three witnesses, accuses Chisale of using someone else’s JCE to secure a job at the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) where he worked before becoming head of Mutharika’s security detail until the 2020 elections that removed the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) from power.
Chiunda told the court that some of the grades Chisale obtained in his JCE attempt were English (F), Chichewa (D), Bible Knowledge (F), Geography (F), History (F) and Mathematics (F).
Earlier, another witness, chief of human resources at MDF Major General Alick Mhone told the court that the accused was enlisted in the MDF as a recruit under the name of Pythias Hiwa Chisale on September 6, 1996.
Mhone further testified that after Chisale served for some years, he changed his first name, replacing Pythias with Paulos and started using Paulos Hiwa Chisale as his full identity.
The officer said the MDF has the original name and records upon which Chisale had been enlisted and told presiding magistrate Shyreen Yona Chirwa that a JCE cerfificate then was the minimum requirement for military recruits.
The matter has since been adjourned to December 17.
Speaking outside court, one of the lawyers for Chisale, Gilbert Khonyongwa said the defence was satisfied with how cross-examination of witnesses took place.
“We are happy with cross-examination. We were able to raise the questions we wanted to ask and we will be waiting for the resumption of the case because it’s the State that has asked for the adjournment,” said Khonyongwa.
One of the State lawyers, Pirirani Masanjala, said the case was proceeding as planned in all three charges, namely: intimidation, impersonating a person with a certificate and giving false information.
“Everything is going as we expected it. We will finish with all the witnesses when we resume,” said Masanjala. On November 30, the court dismissed an application by Chisale’s lawyers, Chancy Gondwe, Gilbert Khonyongwa and Fostino Mayele to pend court proceedings, saying they wanted the court to review preliminary issues of the case.