Norman Chisale might have been a bodyguard to former president Peter Mutharika, but he is a man who has been in the limelight for a while. He is a man many complained to have yielded so much power beyond his position, while some said he had so much power over the presidency as well. On the 5th of November, he appeared on Zodiak TV for an exclusive interview to discuss his recent letter to the Minister of Justice asking for leniency over his bank accounts.
It was an hour filled with rage and antics I found funny. The whole interview just felt unthought of, with a lot of words spewing out of his mouth without much thought. It almost felt like he needed a moment to vent to someone, but I was glad he vented to Malawians and gave us a chance to judge his character.
I wanted to share my thoughts on the interview and would be glad if you shared your thoughts in the comment section below. If you have yet to watch the interview, watch it below.
Thoughts on Norman Chisale Interview on Zodiak
One thing that is for sure is that Norman Chisale is a character. Watching from an unbias position, there were things he said that were true and should be taken into consideration. However, just as there was truth, there were wild allegations said too. Here are a few things that stuck out the most for me.
1. Tribal battles
Since the inception of democracy, Malawian politicians have always been at the forefront of enforcing tribal battles. This is seen in the party affiliations; the Democratic Progressive Party is heavily affiliated with the Lhomwe belt in the south, the Malawi Congress Party is mostly affiliated with the Chewas in the central, and the United Democratic Front is affiliated with the Yao tribe in the east. When the United Transformation Movement was formed, it really had no belt, but others said it was to bind the Ngoni tribe in Ntcheu and those in the Northern region of the country.
During the Norman Chisale interview, he alluded that he, Saulos Chilima (UTM president and current Vice President), and Prophet Shepherd Bushiri who are all answering different charges in the courts as being targeted by the government because they all come from Ntcheu.
This, I felt was a textbook claim by a man who has been around many politicians in his life. Such claims can easily gaslight the tribe one is from. In this case, I would like to believe that this is playing in the people of Ntcheu’s mind since elections are right around the corner.
At the same time, it takes people’s minds away from what they are being charged with, with the laser focus being on the illusion that they are being targeted because of where they come from.
He went on to say that the current Member of Parliament, Mbawala, who won on an MCP ticket, is not the most beloved because of the party he is from. It was said that the people want him to contest in the next elections and that he has garnered enough support.
What is frustrating about this situation is that it proves that Malawi is far from electing people because of the policies it stands on. We still have the mentality of putting people into power just because they come from the same village as us, even when they do not have the brightest ideas on how to improve the socio-economic development in the country.
2. Norman Chisale’s Religious Play
Another fragile demographic in Malawi is the religious one. As a country, we love a man who seems to be devoted to Jesus Christ, especially the Christian demographic. Norman Chisale knows it, and he has been using this to his favor since the first days of his numerous arrests and court appearances.
I would like to believe that he knows the emotions it evokes in the people when they see him with the bible in his hands. Chances are, the most gullible would see him not only as devoted, but innocent.
What I particularly found funny during this exclusive interview was having him hold the bible in his hands, yet swearing not to ever forgive those that he believes have wronged him. He swore to never forgive Steven Kayuni, the police officers who handled his arrests, and more.
It is funny because the focal point of the Christian doctrine is forgiveness. We are taught from a young age to emulate the life of Jesus Christ, a lot of it being that he was a person who forgave everyone. To see a man carry his bible, the same scripture that teaches us, and swear before it that he would never forgive is outright outrageous.
Obviously, I find it as a slap to religion, but to each their own.
3. Of the Njauju Case
It is obvious that one of the things he was enraged about was his arrest due to the Issa Njauju case. He made a statement that was very true, once one has been arrested on murder charges, they are close to being done. We saw this when Timothy Ntilosanje and three other friends were arrested in relation to the death of his girlfriend Kottana Chidyaonga.
In 2020, all four were acquitted of their crimes, but that does not mean their names were not stained. To date, Timothy has been fighting the government for false imprisonment and maliciousness. A win he had was through the Medical Council of Malawi found Dr Dzamalala, who was the lead pathologist who had the four arrested, guilty of his findings.
What I am trying to drive at is that he is right, being arrested for murder can lead to character assassination. But there has always been a twist with the Issa Njauju case that Norman Chisale is aware of. Not only was Njauju’s body found near the Presidential villas in Lilongwe, but his phone was also sold by Norman Chisale’s inlaw. Something that made him tied to it.
To further put a shocker, nobody understood why Norman Chisale went on to offer a K1 million reward to anybody who would come forward with information about who killed Njauju. They were not relatives, neither were they friends, so obviously this would bring questions.
He complained about the case not being investigated enough to warrant his arrest, it is alleged that the case was actually investigated enough to send the culprit straight to jail. However, the team that was entrusted with the process was told to down tools and that was the end.
One thing that everyone should have in mind is, that there is nobody who would want closure as much as Njauju’s family. They have not been afforded it, and will not be afforded it for a long time.
I wrote about the Njauju case, you can read it here.
4. Threats Galore
It should be studied how he went on television and made not-so-subtle threats to so many people, including Police officers. While his claims of some of his arrests being politically motivated might be true, it is very wrong to hold the people who enforced a warrant of arrest at fault.
And if I was Steven Kayuni, I would make sure to be far away from him, especially in the events where the DPP got back into power.
5. A 1982 baby
Since I watched the interview, I have been trying to make sense of his age. He claims to have been born in 1982, it is alleged that he joined the Malawi Army in 1993, which would have made him just about 11 years of age. Now, I come from a family where a lot of my uncles joined the security forces in the country, and I know this is unprecedented. At the same time, this was during the time when one had to touch their ears with the hand over the head just to allow them to go to school. Someone must be lying.
Anyway, when you calculate the years he has worked, it comes up to 30 years plus, which is far from his claim of being 41 years.
Overall, I was very impressed with Leah Malekano who was the interviewer. Norman Chisale was a strong character who would have had any presenter cowering, but she stood her ground. As a matter of fact, she made the interview a lot more balanced than it would have been if it had been done by any other.
It was interesting to see him jump around issues of his acclaimed power during the DPP leadership, and how he got his wealth as a civil servant. One thing we learned was that “he does like nonsense” and that a lot of things are “bullshit”.
What were your thoughts on the interview. Share them in the comment section below.