Senior Resident Magistrate, Shyreen Chirwa, Tuesday granted bail to former Salima North West legislator and UTM member Jessie Kabwila.
Kabwila was arrested on Saturday night and is answering charges of proposing violence at an assembly, contrary to section 87(1A) of the Constitution and uttering words to the prejudice of judicial proceedings contrary to section 113(1D) of the Penal Code.
During the hearing of the bail application, Chirwa said the court looked at a number of considerations, including legal instruments, seriousness of the matter and arguments from both sides.
“On the State’s argument that the accused will interfere with court proceedings if given bail, the court finds it not enough to deny her bail. The State must have demonstrated how the accused was likely to do so. Mere allegations, no matter how serious they are, have to be substantiated,” she said.
She then ordered Kabwila to pay a cash bond of K20,000, two reliable sureties with a non-cash bond of K200,000 each, report to Central Region Police every fortnight and alert the police whenever she wants to leave Lilongwe.
Kabwila’s lawyer Khwima Mchizi expressed satisfaction with the court ruling.
“I am just happy because the court seemed to have agreed with me that the State was only using those arguments as excuses to keep her in custody and did not bring proof to the court that what they were saying would, in any way, prejudice the court proceedings,” he said.
The arrest of Kabwila follows her speech at Area 10 during the demonstration against allegations of assault, rape and defilement of women at Msundwe, M’bwatalika and Mpingu in Lilongwe.
In her speech, whose audio clip went viral on social media, Kabwila is alleged to have said that the country will be on fire if the judges give a childish judgement on the electoral case that awaits court determination.