Chief Resident Magistrate Patrick Chirwa has dismissed an application by lawyers representing Prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife, Mary, that he recuses from the case on the basis of bias.
The ruling follows the issuing of warrant of arrest by his Court to the two fugitive offenders who are facing charges of fraud and money laundering in South Africa
According to Magistrate Chirwa, it is too early for him to recuse himself from the case because the warrant of arrest which his Court issued was in accordance with the law.
In an interview, Director of Public Prosecutions Dr Steve Kayuni has upheld the Court`s decision on continuing hearing the matter.
“It’s a court decision and as we argued that’s what the law is in this country.
“And we are grateful that the decision has been made and that the matter proceeds and the honourable court is ready to proceed with the matter,” said Dr Kayuni.
However, the Defense has also filed a notice seeking interpretation on whether the matter should be heard as a criminal or civil case.
“He [the Magistrate] he will give us the copy of his ruling, we will study it, we don’t want to be taken by emotions or something like that, but we will sit down and look at it and a decision on the way forward.
“We also want the Court to decide that the matter is proceeding as a civil matter not criminal matter because they are not here to answer to any criminal offence,” said Wapona Kita, one of the lawyers representing the fugitive offenders.
The matter has been adjourned to Monday next week where the Court is expected to give direction on the notice.