Former president Peter Mutharika’s personal bodyguard Norman Chisale has filed a suit against the Attorney General (AG) demanding about K3.4 billion in compensation for unlawful arrest.
His claims follow AG Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda’s failure to respond to the demand letter within 90 days from February 25 2022 to settle a K500 million compensation claim outside court following the High Court judgement that acquitted him in the case of attempted murder of Sigele Amani, a resident of Chimwankhunda Township in Blantyre.
Chisale was acquitted on April 16 2021
Through his lawyer Chancy Gondwe, Chisale argued that the conduct of the State by arresting and prosecuting him was aimed at harassing the claimant.
He argued that he is entitled to compensation claims for damages due to “the reckless, oppressive, arbitrary and unconstitutional behaviour” of the defendant.
Chisale justified his claims by citing a Civil Cause No. 760 of 2020, Dingani Soko vs Norman Chisale where the claimant who stayed for an hour at a police station, was awarded K 3.5 million as damages for false imprisonment.
Reads the statement of the case in part: “Based on the above, the claimant claims the sum of K924 000 000 as damages for false imprisonment having been in custody for 264 hours. The claimant claims damages for malicious prosecution estimated at K500 000 000.
His office has been sued: Nyirenda
“The claimant also claims damages for aggravated and punitive/ exemplary damages estimated at K2 000 000 000. The claimant also suffered special damages in defending the criminal matter being legal costs amounting to K24 000 000 in defending the malicious prosecution.”
In the summons, the claimant demands the AG to either satisfy the claim or file in court a list of documents in defence of the matter within 28 days.
But in an interview on Thursday, Nyirenda said he will defend the matter in court.
“We haven’t been formally served with the documents, but I have seen them on social media and I will definitely defend the claims,” he said.
In the ruling on April 16 2021, former High Court of Malawi Judge Sylvester Kalembera, now a Justice of Appeal, found the claimant with no case to answer. The judge also noted that Chisale’s shooting of Amani was accidental and in self-defence.
Chisale was arrested on July 17 2020 and released on court bail on July 28 2020 in connection with the shooting of Amani on May 21, 2020, in Chimwankhunda Dam residential area in Blantyre.
He was arrested few minutes after being released on court bail in another case where he was charged with fraud and money laundering.
The K3.4 billion claim comes at a time government is fighting against K2 trillion claims through the office of the AG.
Four businesspersons, namely Abdul Karim Batatawala with K250 billion, Ramchand Hashmatrai with K131 billion, Shiraz Ferreira with K30 billion and Leston Mulli of Mulli Brothers Limited with K18 billion top the claims list, according to Nyirenda.`