Tue. Jul 23rd, 2019

Court grants bail to Mwakibinga

By our reporter
The Magistrate Court in Blantyre has faulted the state for failing to clearly indicate how Tumpale Mwakiwinga, a man accused of insulting the modesty of the country’s first lady, Gertrude Mutharika would interfere with investigations if granted bail.
In its submission before First Grade Magistrate Tsoka Banda yesterday, state prosecutor Dickens Mwambazi prayed that they should be allowed to keep Mwakiwinga in their custody for seven more days to allow them finish investigations without the accused interference
Mwambazi justified his prayer by stressing that the state had complied with the 48 hour rule of bringing the accused before the court for plea and asked the magistrate not to consider the bail application by Mwakiwinga’s lawyer.
The case was adjourned to today morning and when it reconvened around half past 9, Magistrate Banda threw away the state’s arguments stressing that denying the accused bail would be tantamount to pre-punishing him before the conclusion of the case.
According to Banda it is the view of the court that the First Lady who is the complainant, enjoys the second highest protection and security in the country aside the State President hence there is no way Mwakiwinga could interfere with her visa vee jeopardizing investigations.
He therefore ruled that the accused be granted a hundred thousand kwacha non cash bail bond and provide the court with one surety on the same conditions besides appealing before the Southern Region Police Headquarters once every month.
The case is scheduled to resume on the 31st of May this year.
The courtroom was however characterized by drama when the initial surety who is a cousin to the accused was rejected by the court for failing to give a reliable postal address and has since been replaced with Mwakiwinga’s sister.
Mwakibinga was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly posting a picture likening the first lady to a cartoon character and has been charged with three counts of insulting the modesty of a woman, cyber harassment and offensive communication.
Two of the offences have been quoted from the electronic transactions act but Mwakiwinga has pleaded not guilty on all the three counts.

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