There was jubilation by Christians of Faith Ministries on Wednesday when Mzuzu Senior Resident Magistrate Peter Kandulu granted bail to Khumbo Madise, 37, an evangelist who was recently arrested for illegally residing in Kaning’ina Forest Reserve.
Madise, who was arrested on Tuesday by Mzuzu Police and Mzuzu Forest Department, was represented by Counsel Michael Munthali at the court.
He was charged for building structures in a forest reserve and residing in a protected area which is contrary to Section 64 (c) of Forest Act.
However, appearing before the court, Madise pleaded not guilty to the charges leveled against him.
“I am Khumbo Madise, 37 years of age from Madise Village in the area of Traditional Authority Mtwalo in Mzimba District and l plead not guilty to the charges,” said Madise.
The defendant, Counsel Munthali, then pleaded with the court to grant bail to Madise, saying the suspect is not employed, first offender and is an evangelist and cannot jump bail.
Counsel Munthali also pleaded with the court to grant bail to Madise with a K20, 000.00-bail bond, a condition which was denied by Kandulu.
However, granting bail, Kandulu said the accused should pay K100, 000 as a bail bond (which was paid), provide one reliable surety and report to Mzuzu Police Station fortnightly.
“The accused should always seek permission from the Department of Forestry if he needs to visit Kaning’ina Forest Reserve and seek permission from Mzuzu Police if he is to travel outside Mzuzu,” said Kandulu.
Madise is expected to appear in court on October 4, 2021.
The accused is said to have been residing in the forest for almost two years, where he had constructed himself 32 structures.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :