Trapence, Sembereka granted bail


Lilongwe Second Grade Magistrate court has today granted bail to Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) Vice Chairperson Gift Trapence and a member of the organization McDonald Sembereka.

Trapence and Sembereka were arrested on Tuesday for K7.2 million fraud and operating an unregistered organisation.

Trapence (centre) after being released

Chief Resident Magistrate Violet Chipawo on Friday granted the two bail on the conditions that they pay K200,000 cash, K1 million surety and report every fortnight to Area 3 Police Station. The two have also been told to surrender their travel documents.

During hearing for the bail, the State said the two should remain in custody so that prosecutors should investigate the case for 15 days but the court said the activists cannot affect investigations.

Trapence and Sembereka are members of HRDC which conducted post-elections protests last week to demand the resignation of Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Chairperson Justice Jane Ansah.

They were arrested on Tuesday after the UNAIDS reported to police that the activists pocketed money but did not use it for intended purpose.

On Wednesday, the United Nations demanded the immediate release of the activists saying the organisation reported the matter to police but the case did not represent legal action against the activists.