President Lazarus Chakwera has assured Malawians that his government will find out what is happening to Prophet Shepherd Bushiri’s problematic stay in South Africa.
Chakwera made the comment on Sunday night in Mzuzu while meeting with local traditional leaders.
One of the chiefs had asked Chakwera to investigate what is happening to Bushiri in South Africa and, if needs be, government must step in to help the Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) church leader return to Malawi.
In response, Chakwera said: “Thank you so much for the question. I cannot give a full response now as matters are still in court; but I can assure you that I will follow up and find out everything and inform the nation.”
Bushiri also known as ‘Major 1’ or ‘Papa’ by ECG Church worshippers was arrested on last month, kept in custody for over two weeks something which riled the Malawian public, asking government to intervene.
Some members of civil society and faith groups recently asked government to intervene in the ongoing legal battles facing South Africa-based Malawian prophet Shepherd Bushiri and bring him back home.
Malawi Watch executive director Billy Banda and Anthony Mukumbwa—a commissioner of the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) and a close friend of Bushiri—alleged that Bushiri was being targeted by investigating agencies and receiving unfair treatment from the legal system in South Africa.
Said Banda: “We are not saying that the Bushiris are guilty or not, that is for the courts to decide. The courts must give the Bushiris a trial in a manner that is fair, just and impartial. At the same time, they [Bushiris] must enjoy the status of being innocent until proven guilty.”
He said the Malawi Government should intervene in the saga because Bushiri holds a diplomatic passport; hence, the South African authorities were in breach of international conventions on diplomatic relations.
The ECG leader is renowned for humanitarian works in the country and recently revealed that he will scale up humanitarian works in the country, especially in food security, as part of his contribution to supporting the Chakwera administration.
Meanwhile, Malawi government has confirmed the diplomatic passport which Bushiri holds is genuine and was dully granted.