Balaka Police Station has threatened to issue warrants of arrest for Silver Strikers fans Austin Phiri and Bruno Makina for allegedly violating their bail conditions over the Balaka Stadium violence case.
Bakala Police spokesperson Joseph Sauka on Friday and Monday said the duo have not been reporting to police and also skipped a court appearance on February 12 for unexplained reasons.
“We are processing their warrants of arrest. Since being granted bail, they have never appeared before the court. They merely entered plea and hearing has not started; hence, they will forfeit their bail opportunity and appear in court while coming from police custody,” Sauka explained.
He also claimed that Phiri and Makina’s lawyer Chrispine Sibande was not readily available. But Sibande yesterday said he was not the suspects’ lawyer, but he represented them in his capacity as Silver Strikers executive committee member.
“The executive committee decided at that time to assist the two supporters because it was felt that they were wrongly treated by being arrested while they worked hard to bring peace in the stadium. They went to police to seek protection and ended up being arrested,” Sibande said in an e-mailed response.
“Since they were granted bail, they have been reporting for bail at Kawale Police Station in Lilongwe through station prosecutions officer at Kawale Police known as Phiri. The court ordered them to be reporting at the nearest police station.”
He added that Silver understands that since their release on bail, Balaka Police has never obtained a written notice of hearing from Balaka Magistrate’s Court.
“Before alleging that they jumped bail, police has to comply with procedure first,” Sibande argued.
On Friday, Silver general secretary Mike Tembo said the fans were answering the charges in their own individual capacity.
Phiri and Makina were granted bail in January after being arrested for their alleged involvement in violence during December 28 TNM Super League aborted match between the Bankers and Mighty Wanderers at Balaka Stadium.