The Malawi government has accused South Africa of breaching diplomatic protocol for subjecting President Lazarus Chakwera to “unacceptable, improper and incongruous” treatment.
The Malawi leader was in South Africa on a two day official visit last week.
However, his return on Friday was delayed for more than 7 hours over what Malawi has described as “vague security concerns”.
Some media reports had claimed that the delay was caused because President Chakwera had smuggled fugitive Prophet Shepherd Bushiri in the chartered presidential jet.
Coincidentally, the controversial prophet who is wanted in South Africa for fraud, theft and money laundering announced that he has escaped to Malawi just a few hours after Chakwera’s arrival at the Kamuzu International Airport.
Both countries have dismissed the reports that the wanted fugitive was smuggled in Chakwera’s plane.
How the controversial Enlightened Christian Gathering leader left South Africa and arrived in Malawi is now the D.B. Cooper mystery. Bushiri says the tactics he used will remain an ace up his sleeve as he refused to divulge details when asked by the media.
His escape, hoowever, created a minor diplomatic row between the two countries.
Malawi claims that President Chakwera was subjected to “unacceptable” conduct by South African security authorities piggybacked on “unspecified security reasons”.
The Malawi Foreign Affairs Minister Eisenhower Mkaka has said the treatment Chakwera received “breached diplomatic protocols commensurate with the dignity of President Chakwera’s office and person”.
Mkaka has called out the South African government for failing to apologise for the treatment.
It is currently not clear whether Malawi will extradite the two fugitives.
But President Lazarus Chakwera has refused to meet Bushiri who indicated his intention during his press briefing on Saturday to meet government officials today.
Chakwera says he will not grant fugitive Bushiri “any favours” or “issue directives” to save the flamboyant prophet who has previously been accused of rape.
President Chakwera has assured the public that he will let “law enforcers do their job in accordance with the law”.
An arrest warrant has been issued for the couple by the South African government and it is expected that Malawi will extradite fugitive Bushiri and his alleged partner-in-crime in accordance with the Malawi’s Extradition Act as well as the SADC Protocol on Extradition.