Malawi’s prominent lawyer Ralph Kasambara who was released Tuesday on police bail has paid tribute to Malawians for the “visits and prayers for me while in prison and in hospital following the incredible events of the last two weeks”.

Mr. Kasambara got the bail after Justice Minister Ephraim Chiume, an engineer by profession, announced in parliament that Kasambara would be given police bail because of his health status.

As the release was being announced, Mr. Kasambara was still at Mwaiwathu hospital in Blantyre where he was taken ill from Zomba Maximum Security Prison after complaining of heart problems.

“I am happy to inform you that I am well on the road to recovery and my doctors are pleased with my progress so far,” writes Kasambara in his vote of thanks message on face book.

“More than merely cheering me up personally, however, it has been most gratifying and encouraging to see that what is a stressful situation for me personally along with my family is proving a constructive platform for the general citizenry of Malawi to pause and consider the current status and fate of the Constitution of our Republic,” he adds.

Mr. Kasambara says he is aware of the outrage across Malawi following unprecedented attack and disregard on the constitution.

“When court orders, such as my release orders, are blatantly ignored by Government, it is indeed a cause for alarm. Not only for me, but for anyone else who might be in need of relief from the justice system. After all, this is the highest law in the land, meant to be the citizens’ guarantee that justice will be delivered by the set instruments,” says Kasambara.

The former Attorney General says his experiences are but one manifestation of a deeper systemic problem.

“Creating a just society may well be our duty as citizens. But creating the instruments to maintain that agreed code or value system of democracy is the duty of parliament (our appointed representatives); managing the process of seeking criminal justice is the duty of the police; and, monitoring compliance with the code is the duty of the judiciary. It is clear that justice in total is delivered by the entire chain of correct and procedural actions from the police to the judiciary and the prison system,

“The proper separation and clear demarcation of functions of the three branches of government is the bulwark against dictatorship and the integrity of the links between the three is the basis of rule of law.

It is for this reason that we should all look beyond the current circumstances and pay careful attention to the worrying disintegration of integrity in the chain,” he writes adding;

“It is worrying not just for one man, but for our entire nation. I am hopeful that through constructive engagement and working together as concerned Malawians we can get our country back on track delivering justice for all. This is the real issue which Malawians should be focusing on”.

In his vote of thanks, the prominent lawyer ends with a quote from Tony Lawrence who said:

“Too many people are only willing to defend rights that are personally important to them. It’s selfish ignorance, and it’s exactly why totalitarian governments are able to get away with trampling on people. Freedom does not mean freedom just for the things I think I should be able to do. Freedom is for all of us. If people will not speak up for other people’s rights, there will come a day when they will lose their own”.

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