Malawi top prosecutor concedes pressure in Bushiri extradition case

The Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) has conceded that his office is under pressure to expedite the extradition trial of Prophet Shepherd Bushiri so as to uphold the diplomatic relationship between Malawi and South Africa.

Prophet Bushiri exchanges a chuckle with his lawyer Wapona Kita.
📸 Credit: Maynard Manyowa / ECG News Online

In a February 25 letter asking for the transfer of proceedings which Nyasa Times has seen, DPP Steve Kayuni asks the Chief Resident Magistrate to assign the case to another magistrate following the sudden illness of presiding magistrate Viva Nyimba.

“Considering the nature of the matter, sensitivities touching on diplomatic relations between the Republic of Malawi and Republic of South Africa, the hearing was to be expedited…In the spirit of the expedited hearing, we humbly pray for a transfer of the file to another Court so that the hearing should proceed accordingly,” the letter reads.

Following the letter, Chief Resident Magistrate Patrick Chirwa assigned himself the case.

However, a lawyer who opted for anonymity, told Nyasa Times that the DPP’s letter, confessing external forces in the trial, is both irregular and compromises the independence of the court, let alone the judiciary.

“As we might all know from primary school, the Malawi constitution is framed in such a way that each of the three arms of government are independent of each other. However, the DPP’s letter to the CRM implies that there are undue and external influences to have this case expedited.

“This is unlawful and it risks compromising the independence of the court in discharging its duties and in ensuring the fair trial. Politicians should stay of this case and let the courts do their job to the best of the capabilities,” said the lawyer.

The DPP’s letter was a bone of contention in the recursion case last Monday where Bushiri’s lawyer Wapona Kita asked the presiding magistrate court to disregard the request by the State, arguing that it had been irregularly filed as the defence was not copied as per law.

However, Magistrate Chirwa threw out both Kita’s application and his earlier request for the magistrate to recuse himself on grounds of bias as he has earlier issued as contentious warrant of arrest.

The legality of the warrant of arrest if being contested in the High Court, where Judge Kenyatta Nyirenda reserved his ruling on the matter on Tuesday.

In his ruling, Chirwa rebuffed Bushiri lawyers’ application saying the lawyers failed to prove that he would be biased.

He said he issued the warrant of arrest against the Bushiris last month because he was the only magistrate available. Chirwa also defended the transfer of the case, saying Nyimba fell ill and the law was followed in transferring the case.

Meanwhile, Bushiri’s lawyer Wapona Kita has filed another application in which he wants the court to state whether the extradition case will be handled as a civil or criminal case.

Bushiri and his wife are fighting against their extradition to South Africa where they face several charges, including money laundering and fraud.

They were arrested in South Africa last year and were later released on bail but they fled the country in November.

But the pair claim they will not receive a fair and just trial in South Africa

Bushiri and his wife Mary return to court on Monday for a continuation of their extradition case.

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Terence Chirwa
Terence Chirwa
1 month ago

What surprises me of SA justice and law enforcement systems is that of all the xenophobic killings of many foreigners which played out in public not a single prosecution has happened. How can Malawi justice system hand over Bushiri to such a system and expect justice ???

Life
Life
1 month ago

Staff reporter I said I need pop corn to watch this movie,king of thieves!!

Truth be told
Truth be told
1 month ago

Chimwendo Banda and Nkaka are the ones giving pressure.Bushuri should not expect a fair trial even in Malawi because by giving pressure to the DPP they have already made a decision to extradite him.

abdulrasheedosman603@gmail.com
1 month ago

Iwe Koma Mutu wako umaganiza?

Wakwiya ndi kadeti
1 month ago

Bushiri and other false prophets are dangerous to the society. Their target is money and not salvation.

Cman
Cman
1 month ago

Bushiri and all SO-CALLED men
and women of god are nothing but
a disgrace to the African ancestors.
Preaching from the same books
that were used to COLONIZE,
ENSLAVE AND BRUTALIZE AFRICAN
PEOPLE to this Day. So-called religions
are nothing but the continuation of
mental slavery. NOTHING but stinking
LIES. No jesus shall wake up from the
dead because “he” never EXISTED in
the first place. Anyone who believes
this kind of NONSENSE is a FOOL.
FULL STOP!!!

Shady
1 month ago
Reply to  Cman

U are talking out of ignorance why are you using a phone from the same colonists why u don’t use Msupa as ur ancestors

kheza
kheza
2 months ago

chilekeni chimbava chizipita.

MarabaStad
MarabaStad
2 months ago

Wayamba kutithera data ameneyu. Tangomutumizani ku South Africa akamumange 30 years for fraud and rape. Asatinyase ife. Prophet prophet chani ndiokuba ameneyu! Akagwere uko

Mangochi Kabwafu
Mangochi Kabwafu
2 months ago

Pressure chani apa, ingotumizani dzimbavazi back to South Africa.

Game changer
1 month ago

Mbava anaba ndalama zamako? Muli ndi ziwanda? Osamvetsera bwanji ngati simuzitsata

Alternative
2 months ago

It may take 15 years .. … just like Malawi criminal justice system….but bushiri and company will spend the rest of their lives in South African prison.

Nkhamanga Nginere Elho
Nkhamanga Nginere Elho
2 months ago
Reply to  Alternative

Do you think South Africa can extradite a South African to Malawi?

Cman
Cman
1 month ago

Why NOT?

Patso
Patso
1 month ago

Yes it will on the proviso that the extradited person will not face the death penalty. This is the only condition SA places whenever they sign an extradition treaty with any country.

Game changer
1 month ago
Reply to  Patso

The battle on extradition will create Malawi sovereignty or compromise it, but one thing is known that there shall be a big casualty in all this as follows
1. Relationship btwn two countries at stake.
2. Malawi government and national integrity is at stake.
3.malawians staying in RSA are at risk of abuse if RSA loses the case
4. Authorities who will fight Bushiri to extradite him may die as a punishment from God
5. The Chakwera Administration will lose elections in 2025 as he won’t be voted by south Africans

Patso
Patso
1 month ago
Reply to  Game changer

I find point 4 interesting, if the Bible is to be believed to be the official basis of the Christian faith, one wonders why God would kill any one fighting Bushiri – an illegal immigrant in SA – when those that crucified Jesus were not killed as an act of vengeance by God almighty?

Law Abiding SAn
Law Abiding SAn
1 month ago

Read widely and you will be informed. The short answer is yes based on International Laws which SA is a signatory to.

Game changer
1 month ago
Reply to  Alternative

This case will prove that Bushiri is really backed by supernatural powers…wina amva kuwawa

Patso
Patso
1 month ago
Reply to  Game changer

If this is indeed true why doesn’t he just go to the SA, have the “supernatural power” intervene, the case gets dismissed then all his enemies die then he carries on with his life a FREE man?

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