Malawi ex-president Muluzi seeks compensation over false arrest

Malawi’s former president Bakili Muluzi is suing the state for false arrest, physical inconvenience and defamation following his arrest in 2008 on coup plot allegations.

Muluzi was detained in 2008 for trumped up charges of plotting to topple government, which he says was “wrongful and without reasonable and probable case”, according to court documents .

“There is a need to compensate Muluzi,” said Kalekeni Kaphale lawyer acting on behalf of Muluzi.

He said Muluzi as former Head of State and leader of UDF at that time, suffered “total embarrassment and humiliation.”

Suing state over arrest: Bakili Muluzi led Malawi between 1994 and 2004 (AFP/File, Alexander Joe)

Muluzi, who led Malawi between 1994 and 2004, was arrested at Kamuzu Internatioanlwhen he returned from a medical trip in Britain.

He was then taken into a Malawi army plane and flown to Blantyre under police escort.

Malawi government already compensated former army head of intelligence, Brigadier General Cosgrave Mituka, and Major General Mathews Chirwa who were arrested on the same coup plot saga.

Government also compensated former army commander late Joseph Chimbayo and former Inspector-General of police Joseph Aironi, both were arrested  on same allegations for plotting to overthrow the government.

The group was never prosecuted.

Muluzi has repeatedly dismissed the allegation of a plan to topple late Bingu wa Mutharika, his hand-picked successor.

His lawyer noted that his arrest was captured by all local and international media “causing untold loss of confidence by the people who trusted him”.

Muluzi wrestled power from dictator Kamuzu Banda in the country’s first democratic elections, and is credited with introducing democratic and human rights reforms.

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