Court rebuffs State on video conferencing in Bushiri’s extradition case

Chief Resident Magistrate Patrick Chirwa has today rejected an application by the State to have South African witnesses testify virtually in the extradition case involving the flamboyant Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) leader Prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife, Mary.

In his ruling delivered on Tuesday, Chirwa said the court does not have a provision or a legal basis to warrant the application of the State.

Bushiris walking out of the court after the verdict on Tuesday

In May 2021, it was ordered that South Africa should send witnesses to testify under oath in Malawi and share all evidence of their allegations.

The State was supposed to parade the South Africa witnesses in Malawi Courts last Friday but failed opting to make a video-conference hearing.  Dr. Steven Kayuni who is Director of Public Prosecutions cited COVID-19 and unavailability of flights as some of the factors that prevented the witnesses from travelling into Malawi.

Bushiri sympathizers outside the court

But in his ruling today, Chirwa said that the State did not provide sufficient legal grounds to warrant their application and failed to challenge that there were no flights between Malawi and South Africa for witnesses to travel.

Additionally, the magistrate noted that the State failed to prove whether witnesses of age were vulnerable to pandemic, adding that the State also failed to provide evidence that some of the witnesses tested positive.

The soft-spoken magistrate, then, underlined that the Court and counsel in Malawi is able to conduct trials while preserving pandemic rules and regulations—as such no need for video conferencing.

In wrapping up his ruling, Chirwa reiterated that it is mandatory, for disposition purposes, that witnesses appear before courts, as such, they must avail themselves in Malawi.

He further chastised the State, saying the court is ready to take it upon itself to apply force if witnesses do not want to show up.

The matter has been adjourned to July 12, 2021.

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Winyo
5 days ago

Major 1🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

D Hilton
D Hilton
6 days ago

All the Bushiri supporters seem to have lost sight of the fact that even if the extradition fails Bushiri will still not be able to leave Malawi as there will still be an Interpol alert out on him. So as soon as he sets foot out of Malawi wherever he goes he could be arrested and detained. The Bushiris are essentially imprisoned within the borders of Malawi. They have bought that on themselves. If he had stayed in SA to prove his innocence he could have been a free man. Bushiri is not free. His is a prisoner within a… Read more »

SES
SES
6 days ago

Witnesses are required to expedite this case which has been dragging for almost 3 years. Looking forward for conclusion of this case at earliest.

Mushaka Desire Kabamba
Mushaka Desire Kabamba
7 days ago

God of Major 1 embarrassing children of darkness. Where is ngombwax and other lizards that write garbage about Major 1?

Mobby
Mobby
7 days ago

Our courts are Superior. The south Africa gvt had a hidden agenda on the Bushiris. Surely am telling you now the witnesses will never show up in Malawi because they know they will be embarrassed by our Malawi Judges.

Mzwanya
Mzwanya
6 days ago
Reply to  Mobby

Malawi judicial system is very well appraised on the planet. Since the court ruling from presidential election case, Malawi has had a lot of appraises from all over the world!!! Bravo Resident Magistrate Chirwa for embarrassing these bunch of maggots from South Africa. If they have a case against Bushiri let them come and present their case or else let them continue to swindle other foreigners in the bloody land

Opportunist
Opportunist
7 days ago

Thumbs Judiciary.Let everyone fight for himself not hiding behind technology.Let the music begin or pa pa ground sipali bwino

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