Africa-Press – Malawi. Former presidential bodyguard Norman Chisale has assets estimated at K3 billion. Attorney General Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda says Chisale’s assets are questionable considering that he was earning a salary of not more than K500 000.
Chisale worked as bodyguard of ex-president Peter Mutharika for several years during Mutharika’s six-year reign. Authorities earlier this year confiscated 86 motor vehicles and 21 real estate properties, including residential houses and commercial buildings belonging to Chisale, accusing im of acquiring the assets illegally.
Chisale is challenging the preservation order that led to the confiscation on the basis that it was issued by Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and that it infringes on his right to own property.
Yesterday the High Court of Malawi sitting as a Constitutional Court in Blantyre started hearing the case. Ministry of Justice chief State advocate Jean Priminta said property seized from Chisale is worth K3 billion.
Also speaking in court, DPP Kayuni said the state is assessing more property belonging to Chisale and there are indications that the value of the assets could it K5 billion.
Chisale’s lawyer Chancy Gondwe said there is need to into the context in which rights to own property is limited under the Financial Crimes Act. “Because one can just wake up, and come up with a preservation order without being heard.
“This is a new piece of legislation and it has to be relooked at if at all the provisions are consistent with the Constitution,” he said. However, Attorney General Nyirenda argued that there are questions over Chisale’s assets considering the salary he was earning.
He said: “When we talk about the right to own property, we are not talking about the illegitimate property. We are talking about the right to acquire property that has been legitimately earned.”