Judiciary Strike on Trial
The prolonged judiciary strike faces the real test today as the legal battle to have lawyer Ralph Kasambara released continues in Malawi’s commercial city, Blantyre.
The prominent lawyer, who is also human rights activist, was arrested on Monday and has since been charged with abetting assault after his men over powered two thugs suspected to have been sent to petrol bomb his offices.
But with judiciary workers, including the crucial court clerks, on strike for over a month now will the police manage to get a remand warrant for Mr. Kasambara to go to prison? Will defense lawyers get a magistrate to grant him bail?
This is the scene in Blantyre where state prosecutors and lawyers for Mr. Kasambara are both seeking the approval of Blantyre Chief Resident Magistrate Nyakwawa Usiwausiwa but on different requests.
State prosecutors want Mr. Kasambara remanded to prison but on the other hand, Mr. Kasambara’s lawyers are applying for his release on bail.
Our reporter in Blantyre, Pilirani Tambala says the police are leaving no stone unturned to have Mr. Kasambara transferred to Chichiri prison while his lawyers are also moving earth and mountain to secure his release on bail.
“It is just not clear how the whole scene will play out but all sides are trying hard basing on their interests,” reports Pilirani Tambala
Meanwhile, the Human Rights Consultative Committee has condemned the arrest of Mr. Kasambara, claiming it is politically motivated.
But Information Minister Patricia Kaliati has distanced the ruling DPP from being behind the alleged planned attacks on the lawyer and his office. - Zodiak Online