LILONGWE (MalawiTalk) –Malawi authorities have issued a new arrest warrant for Prophet Shepherd Bushiri of the Enlightened Christian Gathering and police stormed his residence Sunday morning to effect the arrest but could not find the self-proclaimed prophet and controversial millionaire.
Bushiri and his wife, Mary, are wanted in South Africa on money laundering, theft and fraud charges.
The fugitive pair skipped bail in South Africa and returned to their native country Malawi, claiming they fled because their lives were in danger and they would not have a fair trial.
National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera confirmed police have a fresh arrest warrant for Bushiri but could not give details.
Bushiri’s lawyer Mr Wapona Kita, confirming police stormed Bushiri’s residence on Sunday with a warrant of arrest for the prophet but could not find him as he had gone for prayers at the mountain.
But Kita said he would go to court to challenge the arrest warrant.
“We will seek court’s relief,” he said.
The development comes after Police on Friday blocked Bushiri’s daughters and other family members from flying out to Kenya to access medical assistance.
The prophet’s children Raphaela and Israela, cousin Esther Bushiri and mother-in-law Magdalena Zgambo were expected to depart from Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe in air ambulance, belonging to Phoenix Aviation, which had a nurse and a doctor as part of the cabin crew.
Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services spokesperson Mr Martin Gongolo said it was police who stopped the four from travelling.
Police were suspecting that Bushiri was fleeing the country and wanted to dispatch his children away first.
But lawyer Kita has described the denial by government to allow the child to have access to medical help abroad as an infringement on her rights.
Said Kita: “A local doctor referred the child to a specialist in Kenya because her case cannot be treated in Malawi.”
Kita said it “shocking” that authorities chose to block the child – currently on life supporting machine.
The lawyer dismissed as unfounded that Bushiri couple were leaving Malawi.
“It was a child with relatives who are not answering any charges,” he said.
Kita warned that government will be held responsible if anything terrible happens to the child.
“The child is not in good condition and she is back at the same hospital that referred her to a specialist in Kenya. If anything happens to her, we know who to blame,” he said.
The South African government has since applied for the pair’s extradition with the formal hearing on the matter set to start next month.