State wants Kabwila to remain in custody, court reserves its ruling

Jessie Kabwila

The Lilongwe Senior Resident Magistrate Shyreen Yona Chirwa has reserved  bail ruling of outspoken politician Jessie Kabwila untill tomorrow 14 January 2020 at 9:00 am.

Jessie Kabwila is facing two counts of proposing violence, contrary to section 87 of the penal code and uttering words to prejudice the judiciary in relation to the pending Constitutional Court ruling.

She has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Jessie Kabwila
Kabwila leaves the court

During the hearing the State, through lawyer Cecilia Zangazanga objected to the bail application arguing that Kabwila poses a threat and therefore requested protective custody to safeguard her life. She added that the state had also submitted most of the disclosures and was ready for trial.

But Kabwila's lawyer Khwima Mchizi argued that they were not given full disclosures.

"A criminal case requires that there be fair trial. What they have not given us we don't know and therefore we can not develop a defence theory to the allegations raised against the doctor [Kabwila]  if we don't know what they are keeping," said Mchizi.

Jessie Kabwila's sympathisers
Kabwila's sympathisers wait for her arrival at the courts

Mchizi added that they had expected the State to specifically say what the threats are to Kabwila, "Otherise we'd say its an excuse to keep the person in custody".

Kabwila was arrested on Saturday night by 15 police officers and she has been at Area 3 police cells in the capital Lilongwe.

Police is accusing Kabwila of threatening to cause civil unrest if the judges sitting as the Constitutional Court rule against nullification of presidential results.

She issued the threat during last Thursday’s demonstrations organised by Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC).

In her own words, the former Malawi Congress Party publicity secretary said, “We were listening to the proceedings and am here to tell you we won’t accept anything other than nullification, so get ready (tonse timamvera mlanduwu, ndiye sitilora zauchibwana zilizonse kupatula kugamula kuti kuchitike rerun, apo bii muzanukha mphira mdziko muno)."