Malawi VP Kachali orders ‘persecution’ of critic Kapito

In what could be seen as political persecution, Malawi Vice president Khumbo Kachali on Saturday ordered Justice Minister Ralph Kasambara to resurrect the case against government’s fierce critic John Kapito.

Kachali made the order on Saturday during a public rally he held at Chadza ground in Lilongwe.

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

“Let me remind Justice Minister Ralph Kasambara to resume the case of Mr. Kapito,” said Kachali.

Khuimbo Kachali : Resume the case against Kapito

The vice president said he was making a reminder to the Justice Minister.

The move is likely to silence Kapito and would be seen as political persecution rather than prosecution.

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 police investigations clearly found that Kapito acquired the forex legally.

Kapito said he stands “for the truth” and that he has no fear.

He 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.”

Tongue–lashing Kachali

Malawi’s second in command has not been short of controversy when it comes to tongue-lashing.

Last year, the vice president berated critics for expressing concern over what they view as excessive travel by Kachali and President Joyce Banda at a time the cash-strapped government is preaching austerity.

Kachali’s remarks triggered off a barrage of criticism and the vice president was forced to apologise and withdraw the insensitive remarks.

He also launched a verbal war against Machinga North East lawmaker Atupele Muluzi for his ambitions to run for presidency in 2014.

Muluzi later resigned from cabinet following the hate-speeches.

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