With only less two weeks left to Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) church leader Shepherd Bushiri and his wife’s formal extradition hearing, the couple has been detained after a warrant of arrest was executed by the Malawian police on Sunday, 21 February.
According to ECG’s spokesperson Ephraim Nyondo, the Malawian police raided Bushiri’s premises on Sunday morning to effect the warrant of arrest.
This is after the couple’s daughter was stopped from leaving Malawi for Nairobi in Kenya on Friday, to seek medical attention.
“Startlingly, on the morning of Sunday, Malawi police stormed one of Prophet Bushiri’s premises to effect the warrant of arrest – a move which his lawyers challenged through a court injunction,” Nyondo said in a statement on Monday.
Bushiri and his wife fled South Africa to Malawi after they were granted bail of R200,000 each – under strict conditions – in the Pretoria Central Magistrate’s Court.
The couple skipped the country in November stating safety and security concerns. They are facing charges of fraud and money laundering case to the alleged tune of R102 million.
The Malawian government has since received the formal extradition request from the South African government.
The couple is set appear in the Lilongwe Magistrate’s Court on 8 March and the decision on the extradition is expected to be made on the same day.
Daughter blocked from leaving
Nyondo claimed that the couple’s daughter was blocked from leaving Malawi after being referred to a medical practitioner in Kenya.
“She [the daughter] was accompanied by three guardians. Prophet Bushiri and Prophetess Bushiri were not part of the delegation.
“The daughter, 8, was duly referred by competent Malawi medical professionals to seek further medical treatment and all required immigration details were in place to facilitate her travel through a chartered air ambulance.
“Up to date, my office hasn’t been supplied with any information as to why the child was denied the right to lawfully access medical attention after being duly referred by a competent medical practitioner,” he said.
Nyondo further confirmed that the child was still the same medical facility in critical condition.
“It must be underlined that this was not the first time for the child, due to her medical condition, to be referred to Kenya for medical attention. The child has been flying there several times and I am shocked with this isolated blocking.”