Malawian activists have demanded justice for Prophet Shepherd Bushiri who is answering charges of fraud and money laundering in South Africa.
Bushiri and his wife Mary Bushiri were arrested last week for fraud and money laundering of about K5 billion. The two are yet to be given bail. They are also answering similar charges in a different case which started last year and trial will resume next year.
On Wednesday, some civil society Organization and faith groups led by Malawi Watch Executive Director Billy Banda held a press briefing in Lilongwe saying they want Bushiri and his wife to be given a fair trial.
The group called Justice for Bushiri Movement said despite multiple arrests no evidence has been brought to court to date adding that justice is being denied through the delays.
“We want justice for Prophet Bushiri and his wife what is happening to him is not fair, there is a contravening of his rights as a citizen, he has family rights and also the Prophetess has the rights and on the human rights perspective we are also on the view that a lot more has to be done.
“There is little that have been done by the South African Government, but also within ourselves as human rights players. So we are looking at it from human rights perspective that the rights of a citizen are very important and you can see the way Prophet Bushiri and his wife Mary Bushiri have been subjected to a lot of cruelty,” he said.
Banda also claimed that the government of South Africa appear not to have overwhelming evidence against the two and that’s why they have been postponing the 2019 case starting from February last year.
He asked the Malawi government to take up the issue and ensure the Bushiris are brought home rather than trapping them in prolonged incarceration.
“We are asking the government of Malawi to directly engage with their counterpart which is South Africa on the fairness of administration of Justice to the two,” said Banda
Recently, the South African Ministry of Home Affairs said the Bushiris’ permanent residency permits were obtained without following procedures and the two face deportation.
But the Malawi group claimed that Prophet Bushiri and Prophetess Mary Bushiri have a permanent residential status in South Africa which was duly legally issued by the Home Affairs Department and what is being said is not true at all.
Banda said the activists are not members of Bushiri’s church but are concerned about human rights hence will hold demonstrations if there is no justice in the case of Bushiri and his wife.
“We are going to demonstrate in all districts of this country against the South African high commission so that truth can prevail on Prophet Bushiri and his wife Prophetess Mary Bushiri,” said Banda.