Money laundering suspects Shepherd Bushiri and wife Mary Bushiri will spend the night in police custody.
The two were arrested on Wednesday morning and were expected to appear before a court in Lilongwe in the afternoon but the court hearing was not held.
The couple’s sympathisers stormed Lilongwe Magistrates Court but they were later told to go home.
One of the lawyers for Bushiri said the two are being kept at Lumbadzi Police Station.
“They will unfortunately spend a night in police custody. There is no need for haste when it comes to legal proceedings. Each step we take must be well measured and fit for purpose,” said the lawyer Lusungu Gondwe who, with his law firm Ritz Attorney, successfully secured a highly controversial ‘mid-night bail’ for Thom Mpinganjira who was then Chief Executive OOfficer of the bank he founded, FDH Bank.
Then, the Malawi Law Society (MLS) reported lawyer Lusungu Gondwe to the society’s Disciplinary Committee for dubiously securing Mpinganjira’s bail. Counsel Gondwe appealed the order in the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal.
Considering that High Court Judge Dorothy nyaKaunda Kamanga found Mpinganjira’s bail illegal and Lusungu set before the disciplinary committee of the lawyers’ fraternity in the country, commentators had already ruled out the possibility of fugitive Bushiri getting out on bail this midnight.
Gondwe who had also secured bail for Ralph Kasambara was once suspended by Malawi Law Society (MLS) Disciplinary Committee after failing to remit some money to his client.
“Mr Lusungu Gondwe received MK26, 862, 855 on behalf of his client but failed to remit MK9, 833, 453.07. However, he subsequently remitted the money to the client,” the Disciplinary Committee was quoted by Times.
The committee also recommended that Gondwe should be prosecuted despite remitting the money to the client.
Unlike in the Mpinganjira’s case, Lusungu who has served as Bushiri’s local lawyer has joined arms with Khumbo Soko and Bright Theu who successfully secured a ‘rerun’ of the country’s presidential elections.
Chakwera won the rerun.
Bushiri aged 37 and Mary Bushiri aged 39 fled to Malawi last week after jumping bail in South Africa where they are accused of fraud, theft and money laundering about K6 billion in two different cases.
According to Bushiri, they fled to Malawi to seek justice before the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi as they believe they will not be given fair trial in South Africa.
Authorities in South Africa have so far issued two warrants of arrest for the fugitive couple and are also looking to formally revoke bail for the two.
South Africa wants the couple to be extradited to the Rainbow Nation to answer charges lodged against them.