As reported by Nomsa Maseko, President of Malawi, Lazarus Chakwera “categorically refuted allegations that he gave Prophet Bushiri a lift on his plane which departed South Africa” on 13 November 2020.
This followed after Shepherd Bushiri and his wife “Prophetess” Mary fled to Malawi in contravention of their bail conditions, as stipulated by the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on 4 November 2020.
‘The prophet was not on the President’s plane’
Maseko also quoted President Chakwera’s press secretary, Brian Banda, as saying: “I can confirm that the prophet was not on the President’s plane last night”.
“The allegation that Prophet Shepherd Bushiri came on the same flight with the president is false.”
Press Secretary, Brian Banda
Golden Matonga from Nation Publications Limited in Malawi corroborated the statement, saying the president’s press team “dismissed any fears Bushiri was offered a ride on the president’s plane”.
Matonga also tweeted that “the escape of Bushiri was announced, coincidentally, in the morning of Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera returning the previous night from South Africa”.
Malawian president in South Africa
According to Maseko, “high-level talks have apparently taken place between President Ramaphosa and Chakwera about the Bushiri matter”, and the SAPS was on the case.
Authorities had allegedly been looking for the prophet since Friday afternoon, “after he failed to show up at the police station to sign as part of bail conditions”.
There are rumours doing the rounds that the “prophet” was smuggled into Malawi by road, and that he left the country on Wednesday already, a day before President Chakwera arrived in SA.
Bushiri acted in ‘personal capacity’
Maseko said that Malawi’s foreign affairs minister Eisenhower Mkaka corroborated the theory and “insists that President Chakwera had nothing to do” Bushiri’s trip across the border.
Eisenhower Mkaka reportedly received a phone call from a “senior South African official” who wanted to know how Bushiri ended up to Malawi. Mkaka answered:
“I don’t know. […] What Bushiri did was done in his personal capacity and received no help via official channels”.
“It’s apparently common practice for Malawians to travel to SA without passports with the help of a syndicate. I’m told SA’s borders are so porous that you don’t even need to remove your mask to go through”, says Maseko.
Twitter conspiracy theories
President Lazarus Chakwera met with President Cyril Ramaphosa on Friday 13 November in what was described as a “successful working visit at Mahlamba Ndlopfu”.
“Ramaphosa has no respect for South Africans and thinks we are idiots. He knows how Bushiri got to Malawi… This is not a coincidence”.
Earlier today, the first photo of the “prophet” in Lilongwe, Malawi, surfaced on Twitter. The photo was shared by former Malawi Attorney General Ralph Kasambara.