Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Commissioner Linda Kunje has entered a plea of “not guilty” to charges the State levelled against her for allegedly obstructing President Lazarus Chakwera’s convoy on Thursday.
Kunje, who handed herself to police on Monday after the Eastern Region Police Headquarters in Zomba launched a manhunt for her, took the plea when she appeared before Zomba senior resident magistrate court on Tuesday.
She is charged alongside her driver John Tewesa.
The State slapped the two with a charge of reckless and neglect act, contrary to Section 246 (a) of the Penal Code as read with Section 21 (c) of the Penal Code.
Senior Resident Magistrate Hellen Kachala asked if they understood the charges, the two said “yes” and denied them.
“How do you plea?” Magistrate Kachala asked Kunje.
“I plead not guilty,” she responded.
Regional Prosecution Officer Josephine Chigawa asked the court that the two should be sent on remand while the State is still investigating the matter.
She told the court that they are a risk flight and might not report to the court adding that the two may interfere with investigations once released on bail.
Kunje’s lawyer Chimwemwe Kalua however that Kunje is a public figure who cannot escape bail conditions and can be easily traced.
Kachala has since reserved her bail ruling for Thursday.
Chakwera was on Thursday morning travelling from Blantyre to Chancellor College, a constituent college of the University of Malawi (Unima) in Zomba where he was installed as the university’s Chancellor before presiding over a graduation ceremony.
Kunje, a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)-sponsored commissioner, is reported to have been travelling from Zomba to Blantyre.
Sauka said Kunje’s vehicle almost had a head on collision with two police vehicles (a police vehicle called a sweeper which clears the road minutes before the presidential convoy passes and a leading police vehicle on the convoy) as her vehicle was still moving towards the motorcade despite being stopped by traffic police officers several times.
Kunje has since been remanded at Domasi Prison , according to Eastern Region Police Public Relations officer Joseph Sauka.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :