The Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) operating under the banner Malawi Black Economic Empowerment Movement (Mablem) have urged President Lazarus Chakwera’s government not to extradite Prophet Shepherd Bushiri and wife, Mary, to South Africa saying he will not face a fair trial.
The CSOs including the Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRCC) held a news conference at the Golden Peacock Hotel in Lilongwe, Malawi.
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HRCC chairperson Robert Mkwezalamba told reporters that they do not believe the Bushiris would be given a fair trial if they were to be sent back to South Africa. He said:
As Civil Society Movement, we have analyzed and understood Prophet Shepherd Bushiri’s decision to return to Malawi as he faced numerous threats and attempts on his life as presented.
The allegations and threats on Bushiri, must not be taken lightly especially in a country which has got one of the highest crime rates in the world.
We strongly believe there can never be a trial of Bushiri in his absence we need him alive to answer the charges and justice be seen to be delivered.
The CSO said South Africa should investigate and address the complaints raised by Bushiri regarding his safety.
Bushiri and his wife fled to Malawi after they were granted bail of 200 000 rands each by a South African court on November 4.
Bushiri and his wife are facing fraud and money laundering charges and appeared in court last month for alleged financial misdeeds amounting to 102 million rands.
Failure by the South Africa Government to investigate and address the complaints raised by Bushiri and subsequent complaints on the same from civil and human rights activists from Malawi, renders the whole justice process unfair and unfavourable for the Bushiri’s and does not guarantee safety and rights of the same and might lead to an impartial trial in South Africa.