The Senior Resident Magistrate’s court sitting in Lilongwe has thrown out two applications by rights activist Sylvester Namiwa alongside 11 others who wanted the court to stay proceedings and not transfer their case to Lilongwe from Dowa.
Delivering her determination on Tuesday afternoon, Magistrate Cecelia Onsewa said the court cannot stay proceedings because the High Court is yet to hear the judicial review case.
Magistrate Onsewa added that transferring the case to Lilongwe is convenient as all the accused persons reside in Lilongwe.
The court has since directed that the Lilongwe Chief Resident Magistrate will give directions within seven days on a Magistrate who will preside over matter.
“We are officer of the court and as the officer of the court we just have to respect the ruling that has been given although it may not be the one clients were looking for.
“Though as much we feel that still the court could have done the stay but still the court has made its ruling, we have to respect that,” said Oscar Taulo, lawyer representing the accused persons.
All the 12 accused persons, who are currently on court bail, were arrested on 11th August 2021 in Lilongwe and are answering a charge to do with contravening police act which prohibits demonstrations.
The matter was previously being heard at Nkukula Senior Resident Magistrate’s court in Dowa despite that the accused were arrested in neighbouring Lilongwe.