The Blantyre Magistrate’s Court yesterday released on bail People’s Land Organisation (PLO) leader Vincent Wandale and three other members of the organisation who are answering charges of obtaining money by false pretence.
Wandale was arrested in Lilongwe on April 21 after about 54 villagers from Thyolo complained to authorities that his group collected money amounting to K3.1 million from them, promising to give them land.
The four pleaded not guilty to the charge and argued that the villagers paid the money as membership fee to the organisation. The quartet has been on remand at Chichiri Prison after the court denied them bail last week.
But on Tuesday, Wandale re-applied for bail, arguing that the reason for rejecting his bail application last week was no longer valid.
He also told the court that he is sick and would like to go out look for herbal medicine which the State could not provide.
However, the State, through prosecutor Damiano Kaputa objected to the application, arguing that the four were likely to intimidate State witnesses if they were released, a claim principal resident magistrate Innocent Nebi disputed.
Nebi gave the four bail on condition that they pay a bail bond of K15 000 cash each and provide a surety, at K50 000, non-cash.
He also ordered them to be reporting to the Blantyre Police Station every Friday.
The case has been adjourned to this morning for examination of sureties as well as continued cross-examination of State witnesses.
Wandale and his colleagues spent one more night at Chichiri Prison yesterday as they had not yet paid their bail bonds.