By close of business on Monday, former President Peter Mutharika’s personal bodyguard Norman Chisale was ignorant of the status of his application for an injunction and stay order against his continued arrests by the State.
Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal Judge Lovemore Chikopa indicated that he would make his judgement available electronically to lawyers representing parties to the case on Monday.
By 5.30pm, however, the judgement that could see Chisale—who has in the past 30 days been arrested thrice for three different offences—was yet to be available.
Technically, the development meant Chisale spending one more night in prison.
Through his lawyer Chancy Gondwe, Chisale applied for an injunction to stop police from effecting any further arrests on him.
Chisale, who prior to the court-ordered June 23 Fresh Presidential Election was a powerful security aide to Mutharika, applied for a stay order at the higher court on his recent re-arrests, a development that could see him walk free if the court grants him his wish.
Chikopa heard the matter in his chamber on Monday when both the State and Gondwe presented their arguments.
After hearing arguments from both parties, the judge reserved his ruling on the matter to the afternoon.
In an interview after adjournment, Gondwe said: “It was a day for our arguments, we have argued, the State and ourselves so the judge has reserved the ruling to anytime this afternoon [on Monday].”
In a separate brief interview on Monday, registrar of the High Court and Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal Agnes Patemba and Gondwe confirmed that Chikopa had not yet made the ruling.
Two weeks ago, Gondwe applied for a judicial review and an injunction and stay order on the matter before Judge Charles Mkandawire at the High Court in Lilongwe.
But Mkandawire only granted permission for a judicial review on the matter, prompting Gondwe to make the current application in the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, Chisale is still on remand at Maula Prison in Lilongwe following his third arrest in relation to the gruesome murder of former Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director of corporate affairs Issa Njauju.
Last month, Chisale was re-arrested soon after getting bail from the Lilongwe Magistrate’s Court for an attempted murder charge following a shooting incident that occurred in May this year at Chimwankhunda Dam in Blantyre.
Chisale’s first arrest, in July this year, was in relation to the K5 billion cement importation saga involving the use of Mutharika’s presidential privileges.