The Lilongwe Magistrates Court has discharged a matter involving Prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary who were accused of jumping bail in South Africa.
Principal Resident Magistrate Viva Nyimba released the two without any conditions saying their arrest was illegal as there was neither authority from a Minister nor a warrant of arrest issued by a Malawian court.
He stressed that his order is only premised on the legality of the arrest of the couple in Malawi and not what happened in South Africa.
Nyimba indicated that the court acted independently and will not be influenced by anything and in the interest of justice, ordered the couple’s release
The Magistrate observed that the Bushiris voluntarily surrendered themselves to police and there is no risk they would not comply with further obligations
In its submissions, the state said considering that they jumped bail in South Africa, there is a risk that can also happen here if they are not happy with the conditions.
They acknowledged the laws the two contravened are not within Malawi’s boundaries so they cannot answer to cases in the country; but because of Interpol’s warrant of arrest, the Malawi police detained the two based on this warrant.
The state also asked the court to remand the two at Maula Prison for 30 days to enable it finish communication with South African authorities on the extradition process.
On its part, the defence team pleaded for bail to have their clients released while waiting for the processes.
Principal Resident Magistrate Viva Nyimba has adjourned the matter sine die.
According to Wapona Kita Bushiri’s lawyer, this means that until when the state is ready then they will get a date.
He explained that once they are ready, the state will serve the defence a notice to go to court but not arrest his client again.
Kita clarified that what was supposed to come first was the authority to proceed from the Ministry of Homeland Affairs which did not come; hence the arrest and the proceedings were illegal.
The Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) leader reiterated his earlier sentiments that he returned to Malawi to seek justice and his belief in the country’s Constitution which protects its citizens.
Fondly called as Major one by his followers, he further stated that his life was in danger in the rainbow nation and that despite opening cases against some of the police officers who wanted to extort money from him, nothing was done.
“The cases I opened against these five police officers are serious cases and I opened these cases prior to them opening cases against me; but no any person is commenting or the government of South Africa is commenting on what they would do against these people.
“South Africans are not commenting about these five corrupt police officers I opened cases against. Why are government officials not commenting, protecting them? These are corrupt people! he charged.
On reports of some of his properties being forfeited in the rainbow nation he replied:
“My right to life is better than any asset in the world so I'm so excited but I give all the glory to God. This is not a victory of me, it’s not a victory of my lawyers, it’s a victory of God. May all the glory and praise go to God. We believe justice is about to prevail!” to his cheering followers.
Security was tight as the court premises which were heavily guarded by armed police officers with scores of people gathered to follow the trial.
His sympathisers including church members who thronged the Magistrates court braved the rains to show solidarity to the ECG leader.