Atupele Muluzi arrested in Malawi crackdown

The youthful presidential aspirant of Malawi’s opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) has been arrested in the capital.

Atupele Muluzi was picked on a roadblock at Bunda when he was travelling from Lilongwe to Blantyre and taken to a police station for questioning.

National Police spokesman Dave Chingwalu confirmed the arrest.

“We want to question him,” said Chingwalu.

Atupele Muluzi: Arrested in recent crackdown

Police want to press charges of inciting public to engage in violence and destroying property.

This follows an incident on Sunday when angry residents in Lilongwe’s Area 24 suburb attacked a police station after the security forces tear gassed a crowd of hundreds who gathered at a political rally of United Democratic Front (UDF).

Atupele, 33, who has been growing in popularity with increased appeal to the youths, who make up over 60 percent of the country’s population., was prevented from speaking as police fired a volley of teargas canister when he was about to address the mammoth crowds.

Angry residents torched police station and two vehicles of the state spy agency.

Chingwalu claimed Atupele did not have permission to hold the gathering.

But the UDF deputy leader in parliament insisted he had permission to hold the rallies.

“The law says we need to inform police if we want to hold any political meeting which we did,” said the England trained solicitor.

Concern that President Bingu wa Mutharika is intolerant of criticism and violating human rights has led to protests and strained relations between Malawi, among the world’s poorest countries, and its foreign donors. At least 19 people were killed by police when anti-government demonstrations last year degenerated into looting.

 

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