Inspector General of Police George Kainja has hinted that police have launched an investigations against outspoken human rights activist and head of the Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (Cdedi) , Silvester Namiwa, over disparaging comments he made against President Lazarus Chakwera in which he described Chakwera as a joker, time-waster and a comedian following his change of tune on the Cabinet reshuffle.
Kainja said head of CID at police headquarters had summoned Nyasa Times chief reporter Watipaso Mzungu over a story published on Nyasa Times April 2, 2021 in which he quoted a statement by Cdedi issued by Namiwa.
The police chief said Mzungu’s summoning over a story which was deemed critical of President Chakwera was just an interview which is part of their on-going investigation.
Said Kainja: “We are not investigating Watipaso in this but we were interviewing him for an investigation on something else.”
But Cdedi’s Namiwa has said he is not scared of the prospects of being arrested.
He said: “Malawi is no longer a one-party state which was characterised by rule of darkness, fear and death.”
Cdedi said Malawi Police Service (MPS) and President Chakwera should know that “Malawians will never be intimidated with such acts by the police, in a democratic state where everyone is supposed to enjoy freedom of expression.”
He said: “It is for this reason that CDEDI is challenging government that Malawi will never slide back to dictatorship and that CDEDI and it’s leadership will never retreat or surrender.”
Meanwhile, Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa)-Malawi Chapter issued a statement which described the police’s conduct as an attack on media freedom.
Misa-Malawi also cited another incident reported by Nyasa Times that happened on April 2, 2021 where Joy Radio journalist Enock Balakasi was detained for two hours by Kawale Police for covering and taking pictures at an incident in Kawale, Lilongwe where police were trying to bring order after a resident threatened to commit suicide.
The police accused Balakasi of carrying out his duties without seeking permission, deleted pictures from his phone and later released him unconditionally.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :