Kasambara rebuffs Malawi VP Kachali on reviving Kapito’s case

Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs,  Ralph Kasambara says he will not take any action on remarks made by Malawi’s Vice-President (VP)  Khumbo Kachali to resurrect a case against consumer rights activist John Kapito.

Nyasa Times reported during a public rally  on Saturday at Chadza ground in Lilongwe addressed by President Joyce Banda, the VP asked Kasambara to revive  a case against Kapito.

Kapito, Chairperson of Consumers Association of Malawi, is organizing protest demonstrations against Banda administration’s failure to address current economic challenges, saying it’s their constitutional right scheduled to take place on January 17.

The VP said his statement was “just a reminder” to Kasambara.

Justice Minister Kasambara: No victimisation of activists

But speaking on local radio on Tuesday, Kasambara said his ministry will not take any action on such remarks.

“Directives to our ministries come through a memo and not verbal utterances through a political  platform,” Kasambara said on Zodiak radio.

Kasambara  said speeches made by politicians at public rallies are normaly “mere rhetoric” and that Kachali’s remarks should not be taken as directives.

He said “there is no [official] directive to our ministry.”

Kapito, who was also critical of the late Bingu Wa Mutharika administration, was arrested on March 17, 2012 on suspicion he acquired forex illegally and that he was in possession of seditious materials just before he left for Geneva, Switzerland for UN conference where he was to present a paper on the human rights situation in Malawi.

Police dropped the charge of forex because their  investigations clearly found that Kapito acquired the forex legally and acceptable channels.

The Minister of Justice insisted the Banda government cannot resurrect Kapito’s case

Kasambara pointed out: It is not the wish of the Joyce Banda administration to victimize all those having political opinions or having dissenting views.”

VP’s personal assistant Kondwani Munthali said  Kachali used Kapito’s case “as a reference that issues of foreign exchange were so sensitive in the past that even Kapito was arrested for being suspected of having acquired the same.”

However, Kapito said he is not scared by Kachali’s threats,  saying he stands “for the truth” .

The CAMA boss  said he is  aware his work has “many challenges including those that can land you into prison or even be killed. But that is the price you pay for justice.”

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