MALAWI Minister of Homeland Security, Richard Chimwendo-Banda, has signed the extradition papers for self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary.
Malawi’s Minister for Information, Gospel Kazako, confirmed this to media on Monday.
“The Attorney-General will be taking those signed documents to court for the court to rule/issue the arrest warrants. The court will decide,” he explained.
This comes after the Malawi government officially received the formal extradition request from South Africa for the Bushiris on 4 December.
The pair are wanted in connection with a fraud and money laundering case before the Pretoria Central Magistrate’s Court. They fled the country to their homeland after they were granted R200 000 bail each respectively.
The country’s attorney-general is expected to take the signed papers to a court in Malawi on Monday. Kazako, however, could not confirm when the court would look at the papers.
Meanwhile, the management at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe has made an about turn, revoking its earlier permission for Enlightened Christian Gathering church leader, self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri to host his popular annual crossover at the national stadium of Malawi.
Bushiri has applied to use the 41,000-seater stadium to host his glitzy, annual crossover service on December 31. The gatherings, previously held at the 90,000-seater FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, attract followers from across South Africa, the African continent and from different parts of the world.
The Bingu National Stadium management, in a written response widely circulated on social media, told Bushiri’s spokesperson that the stadium would no longer host the much-publicised event as it may attract large crowds in breach of Covid-19 preventative measures.
The stadium management also said the facility will also be undergoing maintenance in preparation for the Confederation of African Football (CAF) inspection, which will happen in early January.
“At the time of CAF inspection, management may not have enough time to restore the stadium to its normal status due to anticipated damages and losses during your function,” said the stadium management in a letter signed by acting stadium manager A. Mwaungulu.
“It takes a long time for such damages or losses to be repaired or recovered respectively as seen from past experiences.”
On Sunday, Bushiri’s spokesperson, Ephraim Nyondo told African News Agency that after the sudden cancellation, the ECG leadership was now in “serious discussions”, mapping a way forward on the hosting of the event.
“We may not have known what led to the u-turn, but as a compliant church led by Prophet Shepherd Bushiri who believes in complying, we can only confirm the cancellation of the booking. Our leaders are currently in talks trying to find a way forward,” said Nyondo. When it comes to detainment due to drug possession, one could contact some experts In Fairfax practicing drug crime lawyer for help.
He confirmed that international visitors, including from South Africa where Bushiri commands considerable following, were expected to attend the December 31 event.
“Our church operates in 47 countries across all the six continents. In all the previous crossovers, members from all these countries always turned up. We are also expecting members from these countries to turn up, not just South Africa,” said Nyondo.
Regarding the widespread media reports that the ECG church was charging members of the public to meet Bushiri, Nyondo said the reports were untrue.d-12019638831400344055.ampproject.net/2011252111002/frame.html
“The word of God at ECG was free, is free and will always be free. You are free to visit our church and find out for yourself,” he insisted. – IOL and News24 ■