President Chakwera was exceptionally treated badly as he was leaving South Africa. Unprecedented 7 Hours of unexplained delay. Searching and searching. All protocols were broken. Geneva Convention Instruments that govern diplomatic immunity were broken. Was President Chakwera treated in this manner because Malawi is a poor country?Is poverty a crime and or source of indignity in itself?
President Chakwera travelled to South Africa to meet his fellow counterpart. He wasn’t there on his personal business. As Head of Sovereign State, he deserved nothing less but all respect, dignity and protocols observed by the host country. Common Sense Observation dictates that we ask a simple question. Would South Africa treat US, UK, Chinese and or Germany President in the same manner based on some someone facing trial in that country? The answer is resoundingly NO. Insult to injury is what Tito Mboweni, South African Senior Cabinet Minister twitted. Implying that Authorities in South Africa believed that the Malawian President travelled, in part, to smuggle Prophet Bushiri out. That thought alone is very problematic. It implies that in Malawi we condone criminality and we share in the loot as such we will endeavor to help out suspects when in trouble.
Presumption of Innocence. At Law, Prophet Bushiri is innocent until proven guilty. He is not yet the criminal. The State is yet to prove that he is a thief. South African constitution guarantees Bushiri that benefit. He is innocent. Yet authorities believe he is a criminal even before their own investigation is completed.Legal Technicallity. Bushiri had not yet broken his bail conditions by the time President Chakwera was being humiliated. They only discovered that Bushiri was gone after he failed to report to the police and indeed after he himself publicly said he had left South Africa.
The treatment of President Chakwera at the hands of South African Law Enforcement Agencies give substance to Shepherd Bushiri complaints.All being equal, I agree with Bushiri that he is indeed being persecuted and MAY INDEED NOT face a fair trial. South African Authorities have a marmoth task to convince any reasonable person otherwise. They have set a precedence. If they can ill-treat the President, who is Bushiri?
Summation: What has happened to President Chakwera reverberates and resonates across the African Continent. Africa as a continent bitterly bemoans the attitude of South Africans. People from Africa are less human on South African soil. What a shame. What’s Good for the Ganda is Good for the Goose.