Chief Kaomba, MHRC caution Malawi Police on arbitrary arrests

The influential Chewa Senior Chief Kaomba of Kasungu has cautioned against arbitray arrests which are politically motivated, saying President Peter Mutharika’s cabinet ministers and a pool of his advisors  should  work for the best interests of Malawians.

Kaomba:  Politically motivated arrest are unacceptable

Kaomba: Politically motivated arrest are unacceptable

Chief Kaomba made the remarks during a news conferencee in Lilongwe organized by the Chiefs Forum.

Since Sunday this week, the police have been arresting MCP officials including Ulemu Msungama (who is challenging the disputed 2014 election results for Lilongwe City South East Constituency), Jessie Kabwira (Lawmaker for Salima North West) and Peter Chankhwantha (legislator for Lilongwe Rural South West) over WhatsApp conversation and have been accused of sedition and treason.

Kaomba said : “ I urge the police to work professionally, they should not be dragged into politics that will divide the country. Malawi has never been to war and we don’t even want one.”

The Senior Chief also advised President Mutharika’s pool of advisors and cabinet minister to be pillars of peace when discharging their work.

“Ministers and presidential advisors should be advising the President based on facts on the ground. They should not be misleading him because at the end of the day, citizens will continue to suffer,” he said.

The chiefs forum was formed in January to enable the Chiefs to come together and comment on things of national importance with a collective stand.

Meanwhile, the state funded Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) has vehemently faulted unprofessional conduct of Malawi Police for  arresting MCP officials without substantial evidence and raping the constitution of detaining lawmakers when parliament is in session.

MHRC Chairperson,  Justice Dzonzi said in a statement that  there  is the need for police to conduct their duties in accordance with the law not political influences saying such conduct diminish the trust people have on them as custodians of law and order.

The human rights body observed that the conduct of the police violated the law of the land section 153 which gives the powers to protect public safety and rights of all Malawians in accordance with the Constitution and any other law and apprehend and for whose apprehension sufficient grounds exist.

Dzonzi said  the manner and the timing of the arrests of the three politicians raise serious issues with respect to the openness of the human rights space in Malawi, given previous experiences under different administrations where similar arrests have been orchestrated as a way of suppression of critics or dealing with dissent.

“Past experience shows that state agencies have been employed as instruments for dealing with what are deemed to be the critics of sitting Governments in a heavy handed manner, for example through unwarranted arrests on apparent trumped up charges, subjection of critics to undue processes at the hands of the police and various other threats either through anonymous telephone calls to public rally pronouncements isolating and demonizing selected critics.

“Complicit in these developments was the state media and some NGOs that played the role of fuelling attacks against critics through broadcast of propaganda. Regrettably, this historic turn of events seem to be slowly being reincarnated with the recent developments of NGOs that have grouped together to downplay the critics of the current ruling party, as well as the consistent monitoring of the views and opinions of such NGOs by the state broadcaster in a manner that borders on propaganda.”

MHRC said  it is calling on political players from across different parties to ensure that they exercise the “ highest degree of tolerance of the diverse views.”

Inspector General (IG) of Police Lexten Kachama told the news conference on Wednesday, February 24 in the capital Lilongwe that there is no evidence to press treason charge against MCP official contracting his spokesperson, Nicholas Gondwa that MCP officials were charged with sedition and treason.

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14 thoughts on “Chief Kaomba, MHRC caution Malawi Police on arbitrary arrests”

  1. senxo says:

    Please educate me, Chiefs must be graduating everyday! Always dressed in graduation gowns!!

  2. Khwinda says:

    Any rubbish and stupidity that Kaomba utters from his open mouth does not represent Chewas at all. He is just one of these nosense who goes about begging money for favors from any ruling party

  3. [email protected] says:

    sanalakwitse, ndi mbuzidi imeneyi yopanda nzeru aziganiza ngati mfumu Kaomba who knows that there is always tomorrow ndiye ndale akuchita gondwayu instead working as a police officer is creating own downfall so nchitsirudi ameneyu chifukwa alibe nzeru

  4. Chakhalira says:

    Zimafumu zonsezi zilibe nzeru! Mfumu ya nzeru anali T/A Chindi okha who stood for the interest of the students Not to be ferried to Karonga to dance for Ngwazi Banda. Analolera kuchoka mu Nyumba imene anawamangila and told Ngwazi to remove the house from his home! This was our T/A! Zimafumu izi have their interest for their pockets NOT for Malawians! This Mtchona President is worse! MCP is saying, ” Mr. President, DPP and Useless Mafumu” Release maize for Malawians in 30 days! If you do not, then step down, pack up and Goooooooh! Basi! Very simple!
    But these Mafumu say “President sangachoke in 30 days, akachoka kukhala nkhondo! Useless! This is not the issue. The issue is release maize for Malawians in 30 days! We want the President a Chief who has a heart for his people NOT a party!

  5. youna says:

    Amfumu aiwerenga game. Ndikufuna ndimve a Lukwa and a Lundu anenanji.

  6. jemba says:

    mbuzi za anthu

  7. Tan'gatan'ga says:

    Malawi Chiefs are either ignorant of the Constitution, or have been pressured to say what they are saying.

    The President can choose to resign and it is perfectly legal. In the event that he resigns, automatically the Vice President takes over to the end of the term. Therefore, to say that MCP wants the presidency is false because it cannot happen. Everyone will have to wait until 2019. Those pressing for the Presidents resignation also know what the Constitution says.

    Therefore, to suggest that there would be war if Peter resigns is nonsense. Why was there no war when Bingu died. If anything, it was the DPP (Peter) who wanted to cause civil strive by wanting to unconstituitionaly take over the presidency.

  8. Jane Banda says:

    Bravo Chief Kaomba!!! Ndakunyadilani I wish I could meet u in person and shake your hand. Mature thinking, you are a Presidential advisor material….

  9. The Partriot says:

    Uwu ndiye ufumu wanzeru! For once a chief has told the President nothing but the truth. Chief Kaomba , you are the man!
    The irony is someone who claimed that “his arrest was politically motivated and the charge of treason was stupid” is now the one conducting the Police choir, ochestrating arbitrary arrests on his critics! How time does fly, him of the $midnight six” fame now using the Police to suppress dissent!
    APM and his midnight six gang should not forget that times change, they were in jail themselves less than two years ago and now they are ruling! Only God knows who will be ruling in 3 to 5 years from now. Do unto others what you would want them to do to you. That is common sense.

  10. Kent Y.G. Mphepo says:

    Countrymen,

    First, let me congratulate our First Lady, Madam Dr. Gertrude Muthalika on receiving the honorary doctoral degree in Environmental Management from the Malawi Polytechnic of the University of Malawi! It is my hope that this will inspire her and all of us to greater involvement in the protection of our environment in the country. May we all join her in this effort so that Malawi becomes a better country to live in.

    Secondly, let me join Chief Kaomba (incidentally, my own chief and parent) in cautioning those in authority to avoid getting too intoxicated with power and beginning to think that they can do anything they want to do with other people’s lives. The recent arrests are a clear example of the extremes to which political over-zealousness can take a government to – often without those at the top knowing what is happening at the grassroots. Let me remind the State President and his team of advisers that the brutalities and killings that Malawians usually refer to when lamenting about the dark corners of our history, happened without the full knowledge of those at the very top. If you ask those who were there and saw some incidents happen, they will probably tell you that the death of the Mwanza Four, Kalonga Stambuli, Matafale, Chasowa, Njauju, etc were organized by a few individuals, responding to the heat of the moment and without necessarily seeking the authority of the people on whose behalf those killings were done. What am I trying to say here? Simple and straight forward: Beware how you use power when you are in those corridors of power because you can wear the “murderer” budge without you planning for it. Power, in my view, is a like a knife. It is can be a good servant BUT a bad master. If you let power overtake you when dealing with people’s lives, you may soon find yourselves answering murder charges in a court of law. Avoid situations where you send those who carry guns to face your political enemies because you are not 100% guaranteed that those guns will be used for the intended purpose. Those police officers can use those instruments for purposes you did not think about. We hear of people dying in police cells, police vehicles, at gun point, etc. Don’t think that people who carry guns to confront your political enemies, will always know the boundaries. They can as well kill that person and tell the court of law that they acted on your instruction! Is this what you want to happen in your life in the near future? Do you want to one day go in the annals of our history as a murderer or a member of a killer government? I am sure you don’t want. If that is the case, avoid engaging policemen or soldiers to play political games with guns under your leaderhip. If you continue doing this, just know that a day is coming when you will be called a murderer and the nation will one day want you to account. Please, don’t repeat these dangerous games because one day you will regret. I am sure that DPP has had enough incidents that have tainted its image. The July, 2011 incident that claimed nearly 20 lives is something that any sensible government wouldn’t want to repeat. It is for this reason that I shudder when I remember that the events of the past few days could have returned into a repeat of the same had the MCP leadership not restrained its followers to engage in a physical war.

    Let me, in the same breath, also remind the DPP political strategist that it is not possible to divert people’s attention from such a serious matter as hunger with police theatrics that you attempted to do without hurting your own political camp. I am sure that these strategists feel embarrassed for advising the whole government machinery to indulge in a cheap stunt like we have just witnessed. It is clear now that the DPP leadership has come out of this fiasco with a needlessly buttered image. For example, was it not embarrassing for the Hon Leader of the House, to apologize to the honorable house for setting up a roadblock right in the precincts of Parliament without alerting the Speaker of the planned arrests?

    Let me advise Government to make full use of its chief legal counsel in the name of Kalekeni Kaphale and his capable team at Capital Hill. I am sure that this drama would not have taken place had someone remembered to consult this great son of Malawi on how to handle this delicate matter. I am also sure that Malawi has a lot of retired security brains that government needs to fall back on in times of need instead of only relying on my good old friend Nicholus Gondwa and Sir Lexton Kachama. There are times when leaders must go outside those in service and tap wisdom from those who were in the game before to avoid making mistakes like what we have just witnessed in the past few days. Arresting people just for the sake of arresting them is not the wisest thing to do because, after all, it is the taxpayer who bears the brunt.

    Lastly, let me ask Government to always strive to rise above cheap politics when confronted with serious national tragedies like hunger. Creating scapegoats rather than coming up with solid solutions will not take us anywhere. Let me also ask those of us who are in civil society and the media, like those at MBC, to remain objective when discussing issues of national importance such as hunger with masses. Our leaders must be told the truth about the situation on the ground. Propaganda will not bring food in this country. Let us love our country.

    I rest my case,

    Kent Y.G. Mphepo, Blantyre.

  11. Mlangeni says:

    Chalo gogo wathu ameneu, sadyetsedwa masiko ayelo! Gogo mau magawa bwino! Ulemu wanu chief kaomba

  12. vascotykudhu seda says:

    IG woganiza koma ameneyo

  13. Mulhomwe Wankulu says:

    Iwe Nicholous Gondwa wamva tsapano zomwe wankhula bwana wako dzulo? Manyazi sadakugwire? Umalimbikila kuti atnuwa mwawapeza ndi mlandu ndiweyo nde pano uli ndichonena galu iwe? Nkhope ngati mbuyaali ku State House’ko, stupid!!!! Mbuzi yamunthu, Galu iwe, Monkey iwe, Pelemende iwe, Pumbwa iwe. Nenanso kuti nyoooooo……waiwala kuti boma limasintha eti?

    1. Clean kulankhula says:

      @ #1. Your choice of words to describe Mr. Gondwa is not acceptable. I don’t think Dr. Kabwila and others would want support of persons who use such a lamguage.

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