Court orders South African witnesses to testify in Malawi

Chief Resident Magistrate Patrick Chirwa has ordered the State that witnesses from South Africa in the extradition application trial involving Enlightened Christian Gathering Leader Shepherd Bushiri and his wife, Mary, must appear in the country`s court.

Delivering the ruling on Monday afternoon, Magistrate Chirwa said the State erred at law by relying on affidavits on the extradition application which were sent from the rainbow nation.

In an interview, one the lawyers representing the couple Wapona Kita has asked the Court to discontinue the case as Malawi is yet to sign the extradition SADC Protocol.

“The Court has made a ruling on that and it has gone in our favour and we expect the witness to come and testify here in Malawi, and we are happy for that.

“We are saying according to the legal basis in the SADC Protocol for extradition, it has not been domesticated as part of the laws of Malawi so it cannot be used in Court to extradite someone,” argued Kita.

Meanwhile, High Court Judge Kenyatta Nyirenda has sustained the injunction against the arrest of the two fugitive offenders.

“We are also happy that the high court has agreed with us that by continuing the injunction against their [Bushiris] arrest, so they will not be arrested until the conclusion of the matter,” said Kita.

On his part, Director of Public Prosecutions Dr Steven Kayuni said the State will comply with the Court`s directives.

“It’s a court order, and it have to be respected like any other court order, we have to follow what the court has said and the argument will come in court on the 19th,” said Dr Kayuni.

The matter has since been adjourned to April 19, 2021.

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