BLANTYRE (Papious Liwonde, Malawi NewsNow)- People’s Land Organisation (PLO) leader Vincent Wandale says he will lodge an appeal following his conviction on three counts of conspiracy to commit a misdemeanour, unauthorised use of land and criminal trespass by Blantyre Magistrate’s Court.
Senior Resident Magistrate Thokozani Soko on Thursday convicted Wandale on all the three counts but freed Wandale’s co-accused, Tendai Nsikita, has of the same charges, saying she found that he had no any intention to benefit from the act at Conforzi Tea Estate, but was sent there by his organisation which advocates human rights issues.
But Wandale said he will launch an appeal against the conviction, even challenging that he will take up the mater issue to the International Criminal Court [ICC]
“This issue will not end here, we will be making an appeal; I maintain my stand that we are a sovereign State and have freehold of all land belonging to United States of Thyolo and Mulanje [Must]. I do not care whether the court recognises it or not,” said Wandale to reporters outside the court after his conviction.
He was taken back to prison waiting for sentencing on Tuesday, November 8.
Senior Resident Magistrate Thokozani Soko said Wandale aided, abetted and encouraged people to encroach Conforzi Tea Estate as shown in the official notice presented in the court regarding the planned encroachment which the people ‘mistakenly’ believe belongs to their forefathers.
She said the accused person failed to justify his bonafide ownership to the said land which could have seen the passing of the land from one generation to another.
Wandale was arrested on September 3 in Lilongwe in connection to an incident that happened on September 1 at Conforzi Tea Estate where hundreds of villagers invaded the estate and started sharing land for permanent settlement and cultivation. They claimed the land belonged to their forefathers.