By Joseph Luhanga & Emmanuel Simpokolwe:
Gender activist and UTM official, Jessie Kabwila, who was arrested on Saturday night, appeared in court Monday when she pleaded not guilty to two charges.
The former Salima North West parliamentarian has been charged with counts of proposing violence at an assembly contrary to Section 87 subsection 1 (A) of the Penal Code and uttering words to the prejudice of judicial proceedings, contrary to Section 113 subsection 1(D) of the Penal Code.
Lilongwe Senior Resident Magistrate, Shireen Chirwa, Tuesday deferred the bail ruling to today to analyse the submission presented by both sides.
Kabwila’s lawyer, Khwima Mchizi, said the prosecutor’s claims were baseless and hoped the court would find merit in their bail application.
“Yesterday [Sunday] I met the State and they gave me what they termed as disclosures. I knew from what I got that they were not full disclosures. Again, as I said in court, a case, criminal proceedings for that matter, requires that there be a fair trial,” Mchizi said.
Kabwila, who came to court wearing a grey suit, briefly, addressed UTM supporters that had gathered to show their support before being carried away by the police.
“Firstly, I would like to thank you for coming. Secondly, don’t have any fear. Thirdly, bail has not been denied, God is never early nor late. Let us wait, tomorrow is just hours away,” Kabwila said.
In a clip that has gone viral on social media, Kabwila alleged that Malawi would be on fire if the judges handle inappropriately the presidential election case that awaits judgement.
She was speaking during demonstrations Human Rights Defenders Collation (HRDC) organised against alleged abuse of women and girls at Msundwe, Mbwatalika and Mpingu in Lilongwe last year.
HRDC and UTM have condemned the police for the arrest of Kabwila.