Court reserves bail ruling for two activists to Friday

Gift Trapence at Lilongwe Magistrates Court

Lilongwe Magistrates Court has adjourned hearing of bail application for Gift Trapence and Reverend McDonald Sembereka to Friday when it is expected to make a ruling on the matter.

Chief Resident Magistrate Violet Kachipawo justified the adjournment to pave way for investigations.

Trapence and Sembereka have formally been charged with three counts of money laundering, forgery and operating an organisation without permission.

Lawyers for the two Mkwima Mchizi and Khumbo Soko, wondered how their clients could be arrested without making investigations.

State Prosecutors asked the court for more time to keep the two in custody as they want to finish gathering evidence.

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Trapence fans and well-wishers at the court

Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) Chairperson Timothy Mtambo, branded the arrest as efforts by the state to shrink civil society space in the country.

He demanded their immediate release and threatened to hold vigils at Maula Prison where they are being held.

Mtambo said their continued detention is politically motivated.

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Cheering fans after Trapence addressed them

The human rights activist stated that despite the arrests, the struggle will continue as they remain committed to continue fighting for a better Malawi.

He urged Malawians of goodwill to join them in the vigil at the police.

The two are alleged to have failed to account for about K7.4 Million under an organization called Mango on the pretext that they wanted to organise workshops which are believed to never have materialised.