Mulanje — Mulanje First Grade Magistrate's Court has granted bail to the nine members of Citizens for the Protection of Mulanje Mountain (CPM) who were arrested during the fracas on February 07, 2018 in the district.
The nine were arrested amidst disagreements between Blantyre Water Board and citizens from Likhubula over the water tapping project by the water board from Mulanje Mountain to parts of Chiradzulu and Blantyre.
When Granting bail, Mulanje First Grade Magistrate Smart Maruwasa said there was no point in holding the nine as all the reasons State Prosecuting Officers raised to deny them bail during their first court appearance were no longer applicable.
"The state feared that the accused may interfere with state witness or skip court. Since all three state witnesses gave their statements in court today, I see no reason to deny bail, provided they agree to bail terms," Maruwasa said.
Bail was granted at K20, 000.00 to each of the nine accused on condition that they don't break any laws and report to police every fortnight.
Maruwasa ruled that the suspects will appear in court on March 12, 2018 for ruling on charges of inciting violence and rioting.
Meanwhile, the 14 CPM members who were arrested on February 10, 2018 in protest when bail was denied for the nine, are expected to re-appear in court on February 26 to answer charges of Conduct likely to cause Breach of Peace.