Zambianobserver.com reports that fugitive Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) leader prophet Shepherd Bushiri revealed that he and his alleged partner-in-crime and wife, Mary, have escaped arrest in their home country Malawi.
The Major 1, as he is widely known as, revealed in a statement that there was an imminent arrest looming over his head and that of his wife.
According to the news outlet, no detail has been revealed as to why the couple is wanted before hearing that their extradition commences in 2 weeks time.
Prophet Bushiri confirmed through his spokesperson that a warrant has been issued for his arrest.
“I can confirm [that the] Malawi Police issued a warrant of arrest for Prophet Bushiri and Prophetess Mary Bushiri. I still don’t have the grounds for the warrant” said his spokesperson, Ephraim Nyondo, in a statement released on Monday.
He further revealed that Major 1 escaped his arrest through an injunction timely obtained early on Sunday, just before the Police stormed the prophet’s premises to effect an arrest.
“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”, reveals the 371-word-statement.
The warrant of arrest for Bushiri and his wife Mary came hours after his daughters were barred at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) from leaving the country.
Bushiri claims his daughters who were the first to leave South Africa before the prophet and his alleged partner-in-crime Mary Bushiri escaped to Malawi last November was heading to Kenya for medical attention.
Bushiri’s spokesperson says the daughter (Israella), 8 years of age was travelling with three guardians.
“She 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.”
The daughters, Raphaella and Israella, were stopped together with Mary Bushiri’s mother, Magdalena Zgambo and another family member, Esther Bushiri. This is according to a passenger manifest form seen by some local reporters.
The two fugitives were reportedly not with them, neither were the two included on the passenger manifest.
Prophet Bushiri is wanted together with his wife by the South Africa government to answer fraud, money laundering, and corruption charges. They maintain their innocence.
But the couple escaped from South Africa soon after being granted bail. Their escape caused a diplomatic glitch between South Africa and Malawi following allegations that the Malawian president Lazarus Chakwera had helped the controversial prophet to escape.
The Malawian president who was in South Africa on his official maiden visit was detained for more than seven hours by South Africa authorities when it was discovered that the couple was missing on the radar. It was suspected that President Chakwera, who is also a cleric, smuggled them.
“Fugitive prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife, Mary, were issued with diplomatic passports bearing decoy names and applied with cosmetic facial changes before being smuggled out of South Africa in Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera’s hired jet,” reported the Sunday Independent.
The Malawi government denied any involvement in the couple’s escape. Nonetheless, investigative reports established that the couple’s children were the first to leave the Rainbow nation and that they flew through OR Tambo airport with some family members.
Bushiri claims he left South Africa together with his wife as a matter of strategy.
In Malawi, the couple is currently fighting extradition after a formal request was made by the South African government to Malawi.
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