The Freedom of Worship Association of Malawi (FOWAM) president Prophet David Mbewe has questioned the decision by the Malawi Police Service to prevent Prophet Shepherd Bushiri’s critically ill daughter from travelling outside the country to seek specialist medical attention.
No explanation was given by the Malawian authorities for blocking the 8-year-old daughter of Bushiri from travelling to Kenya for medical assistance, a spokesperson for the charismatic preacher said on Monday.
The decision by the law enforcers to deny the innocent freedom to travel on a medical trip abroad has attracted condemnation from various quarters, including local human rights organizations and faith leaders.
On Wednesday, Prophet Mbewe added his voice to the concerns other people have raised over the decision taken by the Capital Hill, which they say is a violation to the child’s right to health.
In a letter addressed to the Minister of Homeland Security Richard Chimwendo Banda, Mbewe says they are shocked to learn that police officers stopped Bushiri’s daughters from boarding an aero plane to Kenya, accompanied by their legal guardians and not parents, to seek specialized medical assistance after being duly certified by a competent medical practitioner.
“We need not remind you that your actions are not only in flagrant violation of the concerned children’s right to life and right to access health services as enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi and numerous international conventions to which Malawi is a party.
“Further, we need not remind you that the concerned children are not answering any charges in any court of Malawi and as such, the travel restrictions imposed on their parents do not and cannot apply to them if they wish to travel for any reason,” argues the prophet.
Mbewe further states that they are disheartened to see police officers taking pleasure to bring displeasure to Men of God.
He reminds the minister that no nation that that persecutes men of God has ever succeeded, but rather invite trouble on themselves.
“As such, we urgently request your office to immediately allow Prophet Bushiri’s daughters to travel abroad to seek medical attention or else risk the full wrath of God onto Malawi,” warns Mbewe in the letter, which he has co-signed with his Public Relations Officer, Ras Jerafaya Geoffrey Phomea.
Chimwendo Banda was in parliament when Nyasa Times wanted to get his reaction.
Buhsiri’s spokesperson Ephraim Nyondo said the prophet’s daughter has previously received medical attention in Kenya.
“The child has been flying there several times and I am shocked with this isolated blocking,” said Nyondo.
“I have strong belief in the leadership of this country and I am certain that it will positively consider our plea and request that the child must go and have medical care just as she was referred by the doctor,” said Nyondo.
“Having worked with the prophet for many years, I have noticed that he is a man of faith who believes that doctors treat, but it is God who heals. He believes the child has a right to life and access to medical attention just as any other citizen.”
Bushiri and his wife fled South Africa last year while on bail. They are wanted in Pretoria on a raft of charges, including fraud and money-laundering.
But his lawyer Wapona Kita said they were all “ready and eagerly waiting for the extradition proceedings to start.”
Their extradition case will be heard on March 8 at a court in Lilongwe.