The Malawi Police in Lilongwe on Tuesday, for the ninth time extended bail for opposiiton Malawi Congress Party (MCP) legislators Jessie Kabwila, Peter Chakhwantha, and another official Ulemu Msungama, accused of treason, to June 30, 2017 pending thorough investigations on the matter.
Gustav Kaliwo, lawyer representing the three, said in an interview with Nyasa Times in Lilongwe that the police action was continued violation of human rights for the three accused as well as a waste of public resources.
“This is a waste of resources and it is very bad in the democratic country like Malawi. The resources which are wasted in this case could have been channeled to the health sector to save lives of poor Malawians,” he said.
Adding that following these extensions it clearly shows that the State does not have objective evidence on the matter.
Meanwhile, Kabwila and Msungama last week applied for judicial review on the matter summoning Inspector General of Police (IG) and Attorney General (AG) to question their decision to arrest them without evidence.
Justice Heally Potani of Blantyre High Court has set February 14 for the hearing where the MCP officials are challenging the state for keeping of extending bail arguing that the case was not done in good faith.
The MCP lawyer however expressed gratitude that the court has set a date for the review of the matter saying his clients have valid evidence against the state to vacate the case.
Kaliwo who is also MCP’s Secretary General insisted that government was wasting taxpayers’ money on the matter saying the money could have been channeled to the impoverished health sector.
“The bail has again extended to June 30, 2017, meaning a year and half will elapse without the State taking my clients to court. This is very bad in our democracy. It shows clearly that the state don’t have evidence on matter.
“This is the reason we applied for a judicial review on the case that the IG and AG must justify the decision of arresting my client. Fortunately, Justice Potani has ordered the duo to respond before February 8, 2017, and the judge has set February 14, to the judicial
hearing on the matter.
“We will go on with the case until is closed no matter how delaying tactics the state might use to frustrate us. The general public are the one to make judgment on the conduct of our police to which criminal justice do they follow”, said Kaliwo.
In February last year, the three were arrested over a WhatsApp discussion that the police said was seditious.
The three claimed the arrests were politically motivated.