Malawi Police impound Peter Mutharika convoy in Ntchisi

Opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) acting president Peter Mutharika had his convoy on Tuesday impounded by Police in Ntchisi for using a vehicle with a siren and flashing amber light.

Mutharika was on whistle-stop rallies in the central region.

“Police said they wanted a vehicle on the convoy which had loud speakers [public address system]. This is a vehicle which had red lighting on its top, but they could not explain why they wanted it. We asked them to give us a charge, but they failed to come up with any,” said Mutharika’s personal assistant Ben Phiri.

DPP supporters rioted at the police  demanding the release of the cars.

The connvoy was later  unconditionally released and police used tear as to disperse rioting DPP supporters.

DPP publicity secretary Nicholas Dausi confirmed that  the convoy was detained for about two hours after police impounded the party’s vehicle which was carrying the public address system Mutharika was using to address rallies on the tour.

Section 110 of the Road Traffic Act of 1997 prohibits use of “excessive noise” such as public address systems on vehicles moving on public roads.

This follows ruling People’s Party (PP) instruction to  Police to stop opposition parties from using convoys arguing that only the state president and vice president are allowed to do that to show that “they are in charge”.

Lead vehicle on Mutharika's convoy

Lead vehicle on Mutharika’s convoy

PP  secretary general Henry Chibwana made the order in during a political rally the party addressed at Malombe in Malawi’s lake shore district of Mangochi.

“We are instructing you Minister of Home Affairs that soon after this meeting, you should tell the inspector general of police of this development; Malawians must know who is in charge in this country hence only the state president and vice president must use a convoy,” Chibwana said during the rally addressed by Vice President Khumbo Kachali.

DPP publicity secretary Nicolas Dausi described the development as sad and retrogressive wondering “where is Malawi heading to?”

DPP acting president Peter Mutharika uses a convoy when travelling to political campaigns.

Banck on the road: Peter Mutharika

Banck on the road: Peter Mutharika

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