Atupele appeals for calm in Malawi

Lawmaker Atupele Muluzi, the son of former president Bakili Muluzi, has appealed for calm following his arrest after two days of political violence in the capital, Lilongwe.

Muluzi, 33, has been charged with inciting violence, police say.

Speaking to Nyasa Timescorrespondent at Lumbadzi Police station, Atupele appealed to his supporters to remain calm saying Malawi did not need anarchy.

Atupele: Be calm

“I appeal for calm,”Atupele who seemed relaxed said.

He hopes to lead the United Democratic Front (UDF) founded by his father in elections due in 2014.

“These are just signs of times,”he added.

UDF said the arrest of Atupele was aimed at silencing critics of President Bingu Wa Mutharika.

“This is a politically motivated arrest,” UDF secretary general Kennedy Makwangwala said.

UDF leader in parliament, Ibrahim Matola, described Mutharika’s crackdown on critics as “height of absurdity.”

Matola warned the President that he might face the anger of the Malawian people after another detention last weekend of the outspoken chairman of the Malawi Human Rights Commission, John Kapito.

Atupele’s aunt, Esnat Phiri who once served Mutharika as an advisor, said she was “very angry” with the arrest and described it as “continued persecution” of Muluzi family

Police on Sunday used tear gas to disperse a crowd of UDF supporters as Atupele was about to speak in Lilongwe, sparking a violent reaction in which a police station was burnt down.

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