Malawi’s opposition leader Lazarus Chakwera and some activists have been accused of treason in the report prepared by State spies, National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) as President Peter Mutharika’s administration raised the stakes in the battle to retain its grip on power.
The report dated October 16, 2015 which has been stamped ‘Secret’ and sent to President Mutharika by NIB director Nicholous Dausi, accused Chakwera of conspiring with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to bring about “regime change”.
Treason is a capital offence in Malawi.
The NIB report alleged that Chakwera’s led opposition block and CSOs have been bankrolled K50 million to among other strategies, organise anti-government demonstrations forcing the President to step down.
The CSO’s activists fingered in the report to be part of the alleged plot include head of the nurses organisation Dorothy Ngoma, Rev Macdonald Sembereka, Malawi Health Equity Network (Mehn) executive director Martha Kwataine and Bright Kampaundi of Forum for National Development.
Others accused are People’s Party (PP) members Joseph Chikwemba and son of former Zambian president Micheal Sata.
Chikwemba is being accused of acting in a treasonous manner when he allegedly travelled to Zambia to meet Sata’s son and pocked money for the plot.
Speaking to Nyasa Times, Chikwemba said on Thursday that NIB report was a “figment of the imagination.
“This is petty politics. The DPP government want to be using instruments of the law to harass political opponents,” he said.
The report also implicate Jeffery Kachale, son of former president Joyce Banda, and former PP vice president Brown Mpinganjira, PP finance spokesman in parliament Ralph Jooma and businessman-cum-politician Yusuf Billiat Matumula.
Matumula is already answering a treason charge in a stalled case in which he was co-accused with former vice president Cassim Chilumpha over plans to have late President Bingu wa Mutharika assassinated so Chilumpha could take over the country’s leadership.
Malawi’s intelligence apparatus claim to have some chilling evidence on alleged regime change plot.
But the opposition members and activist have trashed the NIB report.
Malawi’s leading newspaper, the Daily Times on Thursday printed a lurid report headed “NIB implicates Chakwera, CSOs” based on what it claimed was the NIB document.
In the report, the paper quoted Malawi Congress Party (MCP) spokeswoman Jessie Kabwila dismissing the NIB document as “an insult” to the party.
Chakwera has always insisted his party will only use peaceful, democratic means to seek power.
In quoted attributed to him by the paper, Ngoma said the author of the intelligence report is “mentally sick” and that it was a character assassination.
Mpinganjira called the allegations as “cheap”.
Kampaundi and Kwataine also rubbished the report.
Chikwemba, who was recently recalled as a diplomat in Japan, told the paper he has never been to Zambia in his whole life, and that the NIB report lacks credibility .
“It is unfortunate that people can sit down and come up with the propaganda,” said Chikwemba.
Government spokesman Jappie Mhango, who is also Information Minister, said he could not discuss an intelligence report in the media.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :