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Top-notch Malawian lawyers ready to fight Prophet Bushiri’s extradition: Bring it on, the Hawks

Prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife

BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)—Prophet Shepherd Bushiri of the Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) has assembled Malawi’s fine lawyers to fight his extradition to South Africa, a country he left last week on grounds that there had been attempts on his life and he accused the South African authorities of not offering protection.

Bushiri described his decision to skip bail as “a tactical withdrawal meant to preserve lives” while speaking to supporters on social media on Saturday.

But on Monday South Africa issued an arrest warrant for the controversial preacher who faces fraud and money laundering charges after he fled to Malawi, in breach of strict bail conditions.

Reacting, Bushiri has assembled local lawyers to fight the extradition and see to it that justice is being served.

ECG’s Director of Communications, Ephraim Nyondo, has confirmed to online publication that Bushiri has appointed prominent private practice lawyer Lusungu Gondwe from Ritz Attorneys at Law as lead lawyers, Noel Chalamanda from Knight and Knight and Bright Theu from Nicholls and Brookes as the legal team in a long-shot strategy.

According to Nyondo, the team will work Bushiri’s South African lawyers to solidify his quest for justice in the current cases of fraud and money laundering leveled against him and his wife, Mary.

Shepherd Bushiri, a self-proclaimed prophet known for his “miracles” and wildly extravagant lifestyle, was granted bail in South Africa where he lives, in a case of alleged fraud and money laundering.

On arrival last week Saturday Bushiri held a press briefing saying he had fled South Africa to seek the Malawi Government’s intervention over the trial he is facing in South Africa. He asked the Malawi government to intervene for his safety.

But Kampondeni said Chakwera will not be involved in the issue concerning Bushiri’s presence in Malawi because it is the domain of the country’s law enforcement agencies.

“President Lazarus Chakwera will not be involved because it has nothing to do with him, will not hold a meeting with anybody on the issue and will not grant any favours because it is not his domain to grant favours and he will not issue directives. President Chakwera will let law enforcers do their job in accordance with the law,” he said.

Kampondeni noted that the South African Government has started the process of extraditing Bushiri and his wife Mary Bushiri but said State House has no answers on what the law enforcement will do about the extradition request and the presence of Bushiri in Malawi.

Meanwhile, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) has confirmed that in 2018, a case of alleged police corruption/cash extortion was opened by Bushiri’s lawyer on his behalf in Sunnyside, Pretoria.

It is alleged that the police officers investigating several allegations of rape against Bushiri were trying to extort money from Bushiri so that they make his rape charges disappear.

“Mr Bushiri, through his lawyer reported the alleged police corruption to IPID, as part of the investigation process, IPID required Bushiri to provide crucial information about the allegations and to acquire witness statements but Mr Bushiri’s non availability due to his busy schedule has been giving IPID Investigators a challenge to proceed with this case.

“As such, his poor co-operation, busy schedule and non availability has stalled the investigation process as crucial information required to proceed with the investigation process is not forthcoming from him as the victim in this matter. Mr Bushiri has been provided with feedback on the matter, he is well aware that the Investigator will proceed with his case as soon as he co-operates fully with investigation process,” reads the statement.

He is co-accused along with his wife, Mary Bushiri.

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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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