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Malawi: Court Blocks Vice President's Medical Trip Abroad


A high court in Malawi’s commercial capital, Blantyre has thrown out vice president Cassim Chilumpha’s petition seeking the court to grant him permission to leave the country to seek medical treatment abroad. This follows the vice president’s challenge in the court of the government’s refusal to allow him to travel abroad for his medical review. The government however argued that it would not be in the interest of justice to let the applicant travel abroad since Chilumpha was facing treason charges.

Viva Nyimba is a lead attorney of Vice President Cassim Chilumpha. He said the government wanted a reverse of a recent court order, which sought to clear the way for the vice president to seek medical treatment abroad.

“Dr. Chilumpha had made an application and he was granted that application to travel abroad for treatment and when the government was served with the order, that government sought to reverse that decision by applying to set it aside. And unfortunately yesterday, the high court set it aside among other grounds that the medical report did not give any medical history about the illness of the vice president,” he said.

Nyimba said a qualified medical doctor advised the vice president’s evacuation out of the country for treatment.

“Basically there was a medical report which was written and signed by the hospital administrator of the biggest hospital in the country that is the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Blantyre by the name of Dr. Idana commending that he should go for treatment, most probably in the United kingdom,” he noted.

Nyimba said the government seems not to be interested in the health of the vice president.

“Had it been that the government was interested in the health of the vice president of the republic, they could have sent doctors to find out the medical condition of the vice president. But unfortunately, the government did not do such a thing... the health of the vice president has been deteriorating and none of the government officials has ever visited him to find out what the problem is,” Nyimba said.

He said the vice president’s defense team will file a new application to ask the court to grant Chilumpha permission to seek medical treatment outside the country.

“To prove a point, I think we will make a fresh application and we will ask several doctors in government and the private sector to examine him (vice president) thoroughly and give another report because we would rather have second opinion than have the court throw the petition out,” Nyimba said.

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