Police erred on MCP arrests – Malawi Law Society

Malawi Police erred on point of law in the manner they effected the arrests and charging of three opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) officials over a WhatsApp discussion that the police are claiming are treasonous, the Malawi Law Society (MLS) has said.

MCP officilas in Mzuzu addressing reporters Mtawali, Gondwe and Mafeni Soko.

MCP officilas in Mzuzu addressing reporters Mtawali, Gondwe and Mafeni Soko.

Police arrested MCP executive member Ulemu Msungama on Sunday, publicity secretary Jessie Kabwila on Monday and party legal director Peter Chakhwantha on Tuesday over a WhatsApp chat that purportedly talks about how President Peter Mutharika could be toppled.

According to the Police,  the MCP members discussed how to conduct an insurrection similar to Egyptian revolt that brought down Hosni Mubarak after nearly three decades in power.

They have charged all the three with a serious offence of treason after they initially obtained warrants of arrest for sedition. They have all been released on police bail without taking them to court.

The Law Society honorary secretary Khumbo Soko said the Bail Guidelines Act stipulates that police cannot grant bail to a person charged with serious offences like treason, murder, rape, armed robbery and burglary which he said are offences punishable by death.

Soko said the police were supposed to bring the suspects to appear before the High Court for hearing before it could release them on bail.

Police spokesperson Nicholas Gondwa said he did not know “what happened,” for the alleged coup plotters to get bail at Police before taking them to High Court.

According to the press, Gondwa said police indicated sedition as a “holding charge”  but the formal charge which the three have  been recorded statement on is treason.

He said the two charges are “ interrelated.”

Malawian law expert based at University of Cape Town, Danwood Chirwa, is also quoted saying  the arrests are illegal and indicative of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party being in disarray and at war with itself.

MCP  has rejected accusations by police that its members were part of a plan to topple the government by violent means.

Meanwhile, MCP regional Members of the north has described recent arrest of its officials as “cheap politics” by DPP.

Speaking during a news conference in Mzuzu,  MCP vice chairperson for Viphya Region Gracious Mafeni S oko said the nation is having  many problems that need the government attention  and that instead of  concentrating on solving the economic challenges facing the country, the regime is busy arresting people “to divert attention.”

“The DPP government want just to divert the attention of people from the suffering,” said Soko.

MCP has been calling on President Mutharika to resign following the economic meltdown.

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30 thoughts on “Police erred on MCP arrests – Malawi Law Society”

  1. Kadakwiza says:

    Very sad indeed, it’s long way to go before Malawi will get out of poverty. Our leaders are busy fighting each other yet us the voiceless are suffering. no jobs, no development, no food, no clothes, no money no drugs at our hospitals. This is bad, very bad indeed.

  2. mlauzi says:

    Govt now has egg over its face. These people must be compensated. Heads should roll. We don`t want to go back to the dark days of detention wityhouttrial

  3. tonde wakufa says:

    kodi odandaula omamunjataso?yee!!wanthu oludandaula kuti zinthu sizuyenda bwino,ndiye mkadatinjata poti tsano tiyamba kulila zamalipilo ya wanthu ogwira ntchito ku boma,ayika otsibweni msatinjate

  4. Nyaphaphi wa MJ ine says:

    Thumbs up Kabwila. Keep on fighting for us. Achoke!!!! achoke!!!! achoke!!!!, achoke anyaphaphi amenewa. anabera zisankho, alowetsa chuma pansi, akulephera kuthetsa njala, magetsi adakazimazimabe. Ndalama zikusowa, anthu akulephera kupeza 1000 kwacha ya mgaiwa. Katundu akukwera mtengo daily. Akulephera kupititsa Bill ya ATI ku Parliament, akulephera kukopa ma donners kuti ayambe kuthandiza dziko lino. Ndiye chimene akukhalira m’bomamo ndichani.

  5. Rooney says:

    kabwira keep up fighting for the rights of the voiceless. this is the party that I know which smoke out those who advocate the public concerns.I wonder why the police dance into the tune of the party rather than protecting the citizen at large. Am afraid to warn APM that what the police is doing is mismanagement of public money bcoz lawyers to deal with the issue at hard will be paid instead that the money would have been used to construct a block at Katunguwiri which has been a junior secondary for aperiod of a decade and half. My very good president do not be driven by other politicians in DPP who wants to spoil your career.They did the same to my second good president that the republic of Malawi have had. We want development not destructive criticism.

  6. pido says:

    Akudikira kuti Parliament ithe. Muona adzaziyambaso nkhani zimenezi zomanga anthuzi. Pali ndae yauchitsiru apa

  7. mbwiyache says:

    Jessie, that is the politics you preferred to join in 2013 when Bingu was alive. Politics and arrests are twin brothers. Ask Kizza of Uganda, that’s African politics, this keeps those in authorities alive. Read more about politics. DPP simumaidziwa mayi apapa ndiye muidziwa nthawi ija munali outside politics mumangopanga noise ndiye analibe nanu ntchito apa muli mkati mwa politics mudziona amama Kabwila. “Politicians are not the people to be feared” 2009 Dr Jessie Kabwila Kapasula.

  8. wadabwa says:

    Zachisoni pa nyasaland

  9. kamowa says:

    Zili kumalawi kkkk

  10. Fabiano says:


  11. That’s the rusults of having a notorious X MYP Dausi as head of state intelligency spy being a politician himself, DPP Mary Kachale has failed as a legal adviser to government, As MCP supporters not shaken with fucken Treason on Whatsapp, Pitala is on his way to Ndata farm as he has faile to divert his failure to Malawi nation by establishing treason case, Keep the fire burning MCP!

  12. Zopusa sinkana says:

    W’re malawians we can’t allow few pple destroying our beautiful nation.Asiyen amalawi ayankhule pazomwe zikulakwika.Chilungamodi chimawawa,becareful mudala ongaone zomwe adaona u’r late braz

  13. Linwood says:

    Abwana kumanga mamemba aMCP sinzeru, Thetsani njala basi,ndi ndalama zathu zomwe zamisonkho, K500.00 ndilinayo koma kogula chimanga kukusowa ha!! malawi wavuta.

  14. maliroagonepati says:

    MCP leadership has in the past been too soft towards APM and DPP. This is the golden opportunity to hit back hard – MCP should exploit these trumped up charges to ensure that APM and DPP do not ever use trumped up charges again. The evidence was obtained illegally, two of the Govt’s top legal advisers (the AG and the DPP) seem to have been in the dark, police bail was given for charges for which police bail is not given, there were clear attempts at using police to intimidate the National Assembly e.t.c.

    MCP should do well to remember the words of Frederick Douglass: “The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of the oppressed”. In other words the more soft you are the harder the tyrant will oppress you. A tyrant is a bully, and bullies like opponents who don’t fight back.

    MCP should exploit every angle of this incident to put APM, DPP & NIB on the defensive – even going as far as suing officials for any careless remarks made in radio interviews…PP should join in this battle as well; it is time for PP to pay DPP back in the same coin that DPP used when PP was in power

  15. tonde wakufa says:

    bwanjiso nanga uko!!!!!kodi ochakwela mulola kuti mlomweyu azikupusitsani ayika odala tachitani zochewa zija

  16. Buyelekhaya says:

    “Gondwa said he did not know “what happened” for the alleged coup plotters to get bail at Police before taking them to High Court”. This the national police spokesperson. That’s the difficult part of executing orders which just rain down on you from above!

  17. BOKHO says:

    Mantha Kuluza boma DPP. Tatengakale kaboma aka.

  18. nansakanya says:

    The Minister of Home Affairs must be quizzed for the police brutality and the Police Chief must be summoned to Parliament to question him where he got such powers that overrode the powers of Parliament. If the opposition is serious about correcting things this the path they should take (Uladi must lead the discussion to be seconded by Mwana Chwe) otherwise this has set a bad precedence and they should expect a similar thing to happen again sooner or later. Kachama must be told in no uncertain terms about scrapping off his powers because it is the same Parliament that approved his appointment and he needed to respect Parliament by all means. Let him apologize.

  19. conqueror says:

    Lets wait the truth shall prevail

  20. youna says:

    I am patiently waiting for another press conference from our useless chiefs. Paja akumajijirika ndi za ndale.

  21. Munthu says:

    I used to know police arresting suspects on suspicion and only court could charge suspects. Where does police get mandate to charge suspects? What will the court do because these people have been already charged?
    Shame on Dpp. What kind of law professor is this called Peter? Hehehe

    1. Baba wa Boyi says:

      You are not serious?

      The world over Police charge people every day. So in Malawi they are not allowed to?

      Very strange.

  22. George Kamanga says:

    agalu achiwewe adyana mu DPP ku Malawi. have you ever heard that dogs advise each other when to bark??? The dogs in DPP will never advise each other in DPP because these are dogs with no human understanding, knowledge and wisdom. false prophets who follow these dogs have no revelations from their master the devil Satan himself because he is dead sleeping.

  23. Starling Kondowe from Chikwina CDSS,in Nkhatabay says:

    The action by the police was rather barbaric and unprofessional.His exellency APM could not condone that.We do not accept acts that would downgrade our sincere democracy .The police should have made thorough consultations before arresting the MCP officials.However,opposition parties should come up with tangible solutions to our current problems rather than chasing shadows.

  24. It was difficult to take these people to high court because Justice Kenya was on holiday. Once he is back the mcp members will be taken to the high court.

  25. Goodies says:

    Boma lochititsa manyazi koma nkumapezeka makape ochepa kumalibakirabe and you wonder what goes on in their heads. Things are so clear kuti ng’ombe zayang’ana kungolo. It’s too hot in the kitchen, move out, mwalephera basi

  26. Prophecy fulfilled says:

    The Police and whoever sanctioned these arrests are set to embarrass Mary Kachale even further. Still smarting from the Kasambara case do you still want to subject her to further embarrassment in court with this case where 3 people allegedly commit one crime but 2 are charged with separate accounts for trying to dodge a constitutional provision on parliamentary immunity? For once Police try to advise your masters when they order you to act on a thing you don’t believe is right. Otherwise Gondwa wanuyo ali m’madzi chibwibwi chokha chokha when speaking trying to defend the indefensible. Poor guy!

  27. beje says:

    kkkkkk mpaka terming it as a withholding charge? lets be serious dont arrest people before you finalise your work on the table.it shows incompetence and politically driven.we shud knw parties go and regimes go but the citizenary are there forever

  28. frank says:

    The pac conference was there for only to address economic issues and not anything else. Please can government tackle inflation and kwacha depreciation. Kwacha is the worst performing currency in the world. farmers we cannot to buy farm inputs, what are the economists at Reserve bank doing they need to introcude new policies as there current ones are not working, we need a strong kwacha so farmers can offord to buy fertiliser and farm inputs so we can produce and export more.

  29. kenken says:

    Drop all the charges please

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