The magistrates’ court in Lilongwe will decide Friday on whether hip hop artist Mwiza Chavura, who recently released a song advocating rape, should be given bail.
The court failed to do so Thursday.
The court on Tuesday said it needed more time to decide on whether Chavura should be given bail.
Chavura was arrested last Friday after he surrendered himself to Blantyre Police Station.
The artist has been charged with producing obscene materials, contrary to Section 179 (1) (a) of the Penal Code.
On Wednesday, when four pro bono lawyers representing the artist appeared before the court to apply for bail, Chief Resident Magistrate Violet Chipawo said the court would deliver its ruling tomorrow.
Police Prosecutor Cecilia Zangazanga told the court that the State would need 10 days to conduct further investigations and seek consent from the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
She further argued that the artist should not be given bail because it would jeopardise investigations, including efforts to trace the equipment that was used for producing the song.
“We submit that the accused should be under custody considering that, if he is released, it will jeopardise State investigations. He has been in hiding since the song was released only to be arrested over the weekend,” she said.
One of the artist’s lawyers, Nicely Msowoya, told the court that what Zangazanga said was not true, considering that Chavura handed himself to the police after he received a call on Thursday, informing him that he was needed for interrogation.
He also disputed Zangazanga’s claim that, if given bail, Chavura might be harmed by people. The State argued that he was booed by people on his way to the court, a development which, he said, was not true.
In an interview after the case had been adjourned, Msowoya said there is no reason to subject Chavura to a prolonged custody when, if found guilty, he can only be subjected to a fine.
“It is not enough just to say we want to conduct further investigations, you have to show that, if the accused person is released, investigations will not be possible.
“So, in the event that there is a possibility that the release of the accused person will not prejudice investigations, the law says there should not be any reason to keep an accused person in custody,” he said.
The four pro bono lawyers say they have adopted Chavura’s case because the public has condemned him enough, apart from the fact that he does not do anything for a living as he is just a fresh graduate from Mzuzu University.
The artist stays with his parents in Namiwawa, Blantyre.
His ‘Ndidzakupanga Rape’ song has since been banned by the Censorship Board.
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