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Mzuzu Mayor to remain behind bars

BAIL RULING ON FRIDAY—Nyirenda (in cuffs) at the court Monday

Mzuzu Child Magistrates court has adjourned to August, 19 2022 for bail ruling in a case where Mayor of Mzuzu City Gift Desire Nyirenda is answering defilement charges.

The State, through prosecutor Moja Phiri, has asked the court to remand the accused for seven days as their investigations are still in progress.

Phiri said at this point, they would not disclose witnesses to avoid jeopardising their investigations.

“The accused was arrested on a weekend and we did not have enough time for investigations. The state required the help of some experts who were not available during the weekend. By way of our estimates, seven days would suffice to finalise investigations… We may only carry out smooth investigations if the accused is still in our custody,” he said.

The defence, however, though lawyer Davie Lameck, asked the court to grant the accused bail on ten grounds.

Among others, Lameck said the accused cannot interfere with evidence as at this point the State has not made any disclosures of the witnesses.

“Even though the State has said that some witnesses are within his place of residence at Luwinga, still their identity is a mystery,” he said.

He also argued that the accused has a strong attachment to the Republic of Malawi, being mayor of Mzuzu City hence he is not a flight risk.

“The accused stays with his family and it is well known that one who has a family has responsibility and hence cannot jump bail,” he said

Other grounds bordered on the presumption of innocence and bail being a right to anybody. He cautioned the state from making arrests when it has insufficient evidence.

The case came before Senior Resident Magistrate Felix Kamtsalira who has adjourned the case to Friday.

The accused, Gift Desire Nyirenda will therefore remain in police custody for four more days.

This did not go down well with some of the sympathisers of the accused, particularly his wife and mother, who collapsed and were rushed to hospital.

Mzuzu City Council Chief Executive Officer, Gomezgani Nyasulu, has meanwhile said in a statement that the arrest of the mayor is shocking, adding it expects the case to be handled fairly and professionally.

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