Police on Friday blocked self-proclaimed Prophet Shepherd Bushiri’s daughters and other family members from flying out to Kenya to access medical assistance, Nation on Sunday has learnt.
According to a passenger manifest form, which we have seen, the prophet’s children Raphaela and Israela, cousin Esther Bushiri and mother-in-law Magdalena Zgambo were expected to depart from Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe.
Our source said one of Bushiri’s daughters was booked for specialist treatment in Kenya while the other family members were travelling as guardians.
The chartered plane, belonging to Phoenix Aviation, had landed at the airport and the four were checking in when they were stopped by airport security officials, our source revealed, adding that “the cabin crew included a nurse and a doctor”.
Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services spokesperson Martin Gongolo said it was police who stopped the four from travelling.
“In fact, they had not reached our desk when they were stopped. So, for information please talk to police,” he said in an interview yesterday.
National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera when contacted on the matter asked for time to gather information. He could not pick up our follow-up phone calls.
Meanwhile, Bushiri’s lawyer Wapona Kita, while confirming the incident, has described the denial by government to allow the child to have access to medical help abroad as an infringement on her rights.
“A local doctor referred the child to a specialist in Kenya because her case cannot be treated here. It is shocking that authorities chose to block her. This was not about her parents leaving Malawi, it was a child with relatives who are not answering any charges,” he said.
Kita warned that government will be held responsible if anything terrible happens to the child.
“The child is not in good condition and she is back at the same hospital that referred her to a specialist in Kenya. If anything happens to her, we know who to blame,” he said.The South African government has since applied for the pair’s extradition with the formal hearing on the matter set to start next month.