The Mzuzu Child Magistrate Court has granted bail to Mayor of Mzuzu City, Gift Desire Nyirenda accused of defiling his 14-year-old niece.
Nyirenda was arrested on the night of August 13 2022 when the girl reported the matter to Mzuzu Police Station.
Senior resident magistrate Felix Kamtsaira granted bail to Nyirenda on condition that he surrenders his travelling documents to court and presents himself to Northern Police Headquarters every Monday.
Kamtsaira further ordered Nyirenda not to leave Mzuzu without informing police, pay K500 000 cash bond and two non-cash sureties bonded at K1 million each, and not to interfere with State witnesses and investigations.
In his ruling, Kamtsaira said although Nyirenda was answering to a serious case which attracts life imprisonment if found guilty, he was not a flight risk because of the position that he holds in society.
He then said the State did not provide enough affidavit evidence for Nyirenda not to be granted bail.
“The State would have done better if it had presented an affidavit evidence (the witness gives facts to prove the truth of the allegations),” he said.
In an interview, Nyirenda’s lawyer Davie Lameck said the court ruling was fair because the magistrate analysed and balanced submissions from both the State and the defence before granting bail.
“At the end he also justified the reasons for granting bail. So, when you look at these things, you would understand that the court has given bail in the interest of justice,” said Lameck.
The court has set September 2 2022 for commencement of hearing of the case.
Outside the court, Nyirenda was welcomed by a group of sympathisers, including Malawi Congress Party sympathisers.
Police had to whisk him away from the crowd which was cheering and waving MCP flags.
During the bail application on Monday, Lameck prayed for bail, arguing that his client is not a flight risk while State prosecutor regional prosecutions officer Moja Phiri argued that Nyirenda must not be granted bail because police needed more time to investigate the matter and that he can tamper with the witness because they live in the same house.
Nyirenda is councillor for Luwinga Ward in Mzuzu and was elected as Mzuzu Mayor on December 17 2021