The Senior Resident Magistrate sitting in the capital Lilongwe has unconditionally released the Bushiri couple whom the Police arrested in connection to their jumping bail in South Africa on theft and money laundering charges.The Bushiris escaped from South Africa to their home country Malawi saying their life was in danger. They also contended that the justice system in South Africa was compromised saying he was not confident of getting a fair trial.
After arguments from the state and the Bushiri couple lawyer, Wapona Kita, Magistrate Viva Nyimba observed that the task of the court was to look at the legality of the arrest here in Malawi and not what happened in South Africa. He nevertheless acknowledged that there is in existence a bilateral relationship between Malawi and South Africa. Nevertheless, he said the rule of law must prevail.
Proceeding, the Magistrate said there was no warrant of arrest issued by the State (Malawi) implying that the arrest of the Bushiri couple was bad at law. The magistrate then ordered that the couple be released in the interest of justice.
The Magistrate observed that the Bushiri couple voluntarily surrendered themselves to police saying therefore that there is no risk that they would not comply with further obligations.
The Magistrate further underlined that the couple will only appear before court through summon and not arrest.
“I believe in the legal justice of Malawi. I don’t care about my seized property in South Africa, my life is more important,” said Bushiri after the bail ruling adding “I came to Malawi to seek justice.”
The Malawi Judiciary is touted as the fountain of justice based on the rule of law and not emotions nor witch-hunting. In South Africa for example, it took the Bushiri couple about two weeks for a magistrate just to decide on whether to grant them bail or not whereas here in Malawi, bail has been granted just in a matter of one hour adjournment of the case.
One would think the Bushiri couple are indeed justified when they bolted South Africa fearing the seemingly Kangaroo like court, with a premeditated conviction at the expense of fair trial.