Leader of opposition and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarous Chakwera on Sunday evening stormed Kanengo Police station after learning that police has arrested the party member Ulemu Msungama for treason allegations.
Msungama, who is challenging results of Lilongwe City South East elections, allegedly insinuated that there should be a regime change through remarks in a leaked WhatsApp group chat.
He however prove that the WhatsApp messages were doctored to ensure arbitrary arrests for government critics and opposition MCP members is easily visible.
Chakwera, who has also been fingered in state intelligence that he has been plotting a “coup”, went to the Police and wanted to know why Msungama has been arrested.
“I want to know the reasons why Police have detained our member,” said Chakwera.
MCP Deputy Secretary General Eisenhower Mkaka confirmed and said, “the party is aware of a crackdown on its members ahead of parliament which sits from Monday”.
Mkaka continued, “the arrests are clearly being driven by a political agenda to ‘instil fear in people'”.
“No one would deny they want a better Malawi,” Mkaka said. He said it’s a big leap to say MCP members discussing about Malawi woes they’re planning to make a serious threat against anyone.
“The whole thing is ridiculous.” Mkaka said the arrests are clearly being driven by a political agenda to “instil fear in people.”
Mkaka called the arrest on treason as “outrageous charges.” “Arresting people for WhatsApp discussion is against freedom of expression.”
MCP publicity secretary JESSIE KABWIRA and HON CHAKWANTHA have also been reported wanted with nothing confirmed against GELARD MZAZA NKHATA.
Meanwhile, human rights activist Billy Mayaya said, “the trumped up charges of treason are being directed towards opposition”.
“This is in direct contravention of democratic principles and the rule of law. The use of intimidating tactics to thwart the flourishing of a free and democratic society where all citizens can air their views is a stain on this current government,” Mayaya told Nyasa Times.
“The fact of the matter is that both verbal and written submissions were made at the PAC conference that reflected a general disquiet with the current government and its handling of the worsening maize shortage as well as issues related to political and economic governance.