Suspected Malawian human traffickers on bail

Wananani Modongo
Tuesday, 16 January 2018
John Mayodi John Mayodi Botswana Guardian

Francistown High Court Judge, Bashi Moesi last week granted bail with stringent conditions to three Malawian men who are accused of trafficking five of their fellow citizens.

This came after the trio; John Mayodi, Enock Nkatha and Gaston Kamanga filed an urgent application for bail with the court. In their previous mention they had applied for a no case to answer. 

Ruling is expected in March.

The State alleges that on July 11, 2016 at Kazungula border, acting together with a common purpose and with intention to deceive and exploit, the trio unlawfully recruited and transported one Sakina Kaboda, Mary Mhone, Melise Biston, Graig Kabota and Tomasi Manda from Malawi with intention to traffic them to South Africa.

When granting bail, Moesi said that the three men had been in custody for a very long time awaiting trial with no hope that it will be finalised any time soon. He said their lives have been brought to a standstill and their remand in custody since July 2016 was enough punishment in itself which seriously compromised the constitutional presumption of innocence, which he said operated in their favour.

His bail conditions are that; pending the finalisation of the principal case the applicants must not contact the victims either directly or indirectly. “This means no contact whatsoever, by whatever means,” Moesi said adding that for the avoidance of doubt the trio should not go to any place in Kasane or wherever in Botswana where the victims are sheltered. 

The accused persons were also ordered to surrender their travelling documents to Tati Police Station. The High Court Judge said that the trio should not go to Kazungula border gate or any other border or any official international transit departure points in Botswana. 

“Pending the finalisation of the principal case, applicants must each furnish security to the court by way of entering into a bond in the sum of P15, 000. If they fail to attend court on any appointed day then they shall pay the amount to the state and forfeit their bail,” he said.

The accused were told to report to Tatitown Police Station on Wednesdays and Sundays between the hours of 07:30 and 17:00. Moesi said that it shall be open to the state if it is in its interests and within its capabilities to use electronic tagging and monitoring devices to monitor their movements.

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