- Joins South Africa in compelling Bushiri to face the law
- Followers’ hopes of reunion with ‘Daddy’ shattered
Full of hope that Malawi would protect their fugitive prophet Shepherd Bushiri from prosecution in South Africa, loyal followers who were already preparing to reunite with their ‘Dad’ are crestfallen after the Malawi government agreed that Bushiri should go and face the law in South Africa.
Bushiri’s followers had given up on Pretoria as a place of assembly and were already adjusting their minds to going to Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi where Bushiri was likely to settle in his native country. According to them, Bushiri was undergoing persecution in South Africa and was never going to have a fair trial, hence their rejoicing when Bushiri fled.
However, hardly a month into their jubilation, the Malawi government has delivered an unexpected blow, shuttering their dreams of a possible reunion with a man they call “Daddy.”
Malawi’s Minister of Homeland Security, Richard Chimwendo-Banda, has reportedly signed extradition papers for Bushiri and his wife Mary to return to South Africa. This follows a request from the South African government to send the two back where they are to answer charges of fraud and money laundering.
The couple jumped bail in South Africa and the South African government has been pushing to have them sent back since then. The process will be set in motion after issuance of a warrant of arrest by a court for the two to be detained and sent back.
Their flight from justice left the two countries’ relations stained following widespread suspicions that Malawi may have had a hand in the couple’s escape, provoking a tiff when the suspicions surfaced.
In Botswana, the Enlightened Christian Gathering, as the church is called, remains closed over compliance issues and followers have since resorted to travelling to worship across the border and via Zoom.