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HomeMalawiHawks capture South Africa’s justice system to torment Malawian Prophet Shepherd Bushiri

Hawks capture South Africa’s justice system to torment Malawian Prophet Shepherd Bushiri

Prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary

Prophet Shepherd Bushiri of the Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) who has earned himself a reputation worldwide as a true man of God with succinct prophecies is in custody again together with his wife Prophetess Mary Bushiri.

According to ECG communications director, Ephraim Nyondo, the Hawks arrested Bushiri’s wife on Monday morning and Bushiri went straight to the Hawks’ office to hand over himself to the crime investigators upon learning his wife’s arrest.

Initially, the Hawks informed lawyers of Prophet Bushiri and Prophetess Mary Bushiri late Monday afternoon that the couple should go to their office by 11am accompanied by their lawyers to discuss an issue concerning a certain investment but surprisingly the police invaded Bushiri’s residence before the appointment time and arrested the Prophetess.

“We are told as the Prophet and lawyers were getting prepared for the 11am appointment, the Hawks went to their house before the 11am appointment and arrested the Prophet’s wife alone.

“We are told the Prophet is on his way to the Hawks office to hand over himself. He believes in the justice system of the country and he will abide to all what the law compels until all this war is done.

As the matter is still currently under criminal investigation, we have been advised not to discuss this matter any further,” said Nyondo in a statement released on Tuesday.

The arrest comes few days after the Hawks, led by three State prosecutors, failed to give Bushiri and his wife a trial on accounts of still gathering evidence in a case in which the couple is accused of fraud and money laundering.

Bushiri made a brief virtual appearance at the High Court in Pretoria on Friday on charges of fraud, money laundering and the contravention of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (Poca).

Bushiri’s wife, Mary Bushiri, is also facing the charges for offences the couple allegedly committed from 2015.

One of the charges relates to exchange control regulations and involves foreign currency of $1 147 200 (around R15 million at the time).

Following a July postponement of the matter to 16 October, Bushiri said he was ready to clear his name.

Bushiri claimed at the time that prosecutors applied for the court to postpone the trial till next year July because their 29 witnesses refused to come to court because of Covid-19.

He was opposed to the postponement to next year, saying he and his wife “have been remanded for over a year already”.

Bushiri and wife, Mary, were arrested in February 2019 by a team of 16 white officers from the Hawks on fraud and money laundering accusation.

Bushiri questioned then how the state kept asking for more time when it claimed to have had evidence against him and his wife, adding that the July postponement was unfair considering that his lawyers were ready to proceed.

The Hawks, a South Africa’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) which targets organized crime, economic crime, corruption, and other serious crime referred to it by the President or the South African Police Service (SAPS, has, not once or twice but four times, failed to give Bushiri and his wife a trial on the first charges on grounds that they are not ready with evidence.

Now, having Bushiri and his wife arrested again on fresh charges, one would be persuaded by Bushiri’s earlier allegations that the Hawks are in an organized scheme to torment the man of God so as to force him to succumb to their financial demands through extortion.

It is increasingly becoming more apparent that there are some corrupt and unscrupulous officers within the Hawks who are advancing their personal interests at the expense of the innocent man of God, who also happens to be a foreigner, and the Prophet himself recently raised an alarm on the same.

Writing on his facebook page, Prophet Bushiri, fondly known as Major 1 or Papa among his followers, said there is a police officer from the Hawks, by the name Phumla Mrwebi, who for the past three years, has been running an extortion syndicate through sending girls to him to demand money and if they don’t give them, she told the girls to go public and accuse the man of God of raping them.

According to Bushiri, this Mrwebi woman incorporated journalists in the scheme.

Looking at the behaviour of the Hawks, Bushiri was on point and he is indeed a victim of circumstance.

Public perception

Following the fresh arrest of the couple, people across the globe are of the view that the Hawks are in a profession xenophobic attack against the Prophet. One of the facebook user, Neverson Washington Tsoka, says the Hawks’ actions are necessitated by “hatred and jealous” considering that Bushiri, apart from being a flamboyant preacher, he is also a successful Black entrepreneur who has an array of investments in the country and beyond the borders.

“South Africans are too jealousy to prosperous foreigners,” wrote Tsoka.

Ironically, most of the employees of ECG are South Africans.

Call for justice

As it is widely held, justice delayed is justice denied. The delay by the Hawks to give Bushiri and his wife a trial is not only putting the South Africa’s justice system in disrepute but also legitimize xenophobic attacks against foreigners in Rainbow country.

As part of their bail conditions, the couple’s travelling documents were also seized. The two suspects are mandated to seek prior permission before leaving Gauteng, South Africa.

In view of the above, it is unfair for the State Prosecutors to keep on playing delaying tactics as the couple is currently not living a free life physically.  

As the Prophet has repeatedly said “We have faith in the justice system and we do believe we will get justice one day and will be able to live our lives freely,” it is nobler for the South Africa justice system to rise to the occasion and see to it that justice is being served in the whole process.

The judicial system must demonstrate that it is not captured by the thieving Hawks by expediting the proceedings.

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Maneno Chimulala
Maneno Chimulala
I am a journalist, educator, and activist with passion for telling stories about social justice, sports and political issues. I graduated from Mzuzu University. I started my career at the Maravi Post online publication in 2012 as an intern while in college. Upon graduating from Mzuzu University I was offered a job as Sports Reporter because of my background as a goalkeeper and rose to the position of sub editor. I also had a short stint with Nyasatimes, Malawi Punch and Malawi Digest. Over the past seven years, I have worked intimately with rural organizations and communities in Malawi on human rights, girl child education and grassroots development projects. With an academic background in education, I also volunteer as male champion for girls’ education under Girls Empowerment Networks (GENET) in Malawi’s South West Education Division (SWED).

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