President Lazarus Chakwera rejected allegations that he made it possible to smuggle Prophet Shepherd Bushiri on the president’s plane from South Africa on Friday when the Malawi leader returned after a two-day visit to Pretoria.
Some social media told the story that Bushiri, leader of the Church of the Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG), who returned home in Malawi in violation of his bail conditions, offered to ride the president’s plane with his wife Mary .
The Malawi leader used a chartered flight to fly directly to the Waterkloof Air Force Base, which is a national key point reserved for the South African army and heads of state. Waterkloof Airport does not do the same procedures and searches that are done at the normal airport, especially not for the presidents and their missionaries.
President Chakwera, through his spokesman and press secretary, Brian Banda, said it was not true that he had helped Prophet Bushiri jump bail in South Africa.
Banda said: “The claim that the Prophet Shepherd Bushiri came on the same flight with the president is false.”
According to Banda, the situation of the Prophet Bushiri was not even discussed during the talks between the Malawi leader and the President of South Africa, Cyril Rampahosa.
President Chakwera flew to Pretoria for a two-day working visit and met his South African counterpart on Friday. The two leaders held bilateral talks in the line of national development and cooperation between the two countries, including special permits for Malawian citizens working in South Africa.
Bushiri reportedly arrived in Malawi earlier this morning in President Chakwera.
His lawyer confirmed that Bushiri had arrived in Malawi while Chakwera was in Pretoria.
Chakwera’s departure in the rainbow nation was delayed for several hours on Friday because the plane transporting him and his trip back to Malawi was searched by South African security agents after Bushiri did not report to authorities according to his bail conditions, and there were whispers. that the prophet can be smuggled out with the president’s jet. But he was not on it.
The South African police repeatedly subjugated Chakwera’s travel company at the Waterkloof military base in Pretoria and later ordered the entourage, except Chakwera and a few relatives, to go to the OR Tambo airport, from where they were on the president’s jet. would go.
At OR Tambo, the entourage accompanied the VVIP division under military transport and the police to the plane where a police officer literally checked every passport against the face of every passport holder.
Following the delay in the president’s flight, State House issued a statement saying: ‘President Chakwera’s departure from South Africa has been delayed for several hours due to clerical errors in travel arrangements for Malawi civil servants traveling to the South before the president’s arrival. Traveled to Africa.
“As such, the president has chosen to wait until every Malawian is assisted in his delegation so that everyone can be set off with return. Since the exercise is almost complete, his noble and his entourage will depart any time tonight.”
However, those in diplomatic circles said the president did not have to wait for a forward-planning team. A forward planning team is usually the last to leave the country, following the president.
If you travel between South Africa and Malawi, you do not have to do any “clerical” paperwork, except to take out your passport and have it stamped, and you pass. The ‘mental error’ to which the State House referred here may therefore be far from the truth and that they were delayed because they were wrongly suspected of helping Bushiri break bail conditions.
Meanwhile, South African Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola has said they will try an extradition process for Bushiri.
“Malawi is a signatory to the SADC Protocol and other extradition legal instruments. We will not hesitate to enact these provisions and instruments to help law enforcement agencies extradite refugees from justice,” Lamola tweeted on Saturday.
But Bushiri said he and his wife had left Malawi “temporarily” due to security concerns.
“There have been clear and unequivocal attempts to have myself, my wife and my family killed, and despite our various attempts to report to the authorities, there has never been state protection,” Bushiri said.
The preacher claims that he and his wife are being persecuted in South Africa.
He said they would only be useful if there was an agreement to give him a fair, just and impartial trial.
The couple are facing charges of fraud, theft and money laundering and are currently on bail.
Bushiri makes five demands to ensure a fair, impartial and fair trial.
This includes assuring his safety in the country and assuring that bail will not be revoked.
He also demanded that the investigating officers withdraw themselves and that the complaints he had lodged against them be investigated.
Bushiri further demanded that independent and ‘professional’ investigators be appointed to “make independent decisions on the cases to which they are allegedly accused”.
Questions are being asked about how he managed to return home when he handed over all his travel documents to the South African authorities.
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