Leader of Opposition Lazarus Chakwera has made a stinging attack on the Democrtaic Progressive Party (DPP0 government for the arrest of UTM youth director Bon Kalindo, describing the arrest as “new low for the outgoing Mutharika administration.
Chakwera says whether or not what the Mulanje west legislator said about Mutharika was an insult is not an issue.
“The issue is that this idea of arresting any Malawian, not to say anything of one who is a parliamentarian, for merely expressing how they feel about the illogical conduct of Mutharika’s failed government, is primitive, unacceptable and stupid,” says the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president in a statement.
Chakwera says infact, whatever unjust law is cited to empower such a ludicrous idea is primitive, unacceptable and stupid, saying once voted into power, the MCP led government would repeal it.
“In the meantime, the sad reality is that the Mutharika government has no respect for Malawians, or their lawmakers, or police officers. You may recall that it was 23 months ago that an MCP member of parliament was arrested over trumped up sedition charges related to something allegedly said on social media,” says Chakwera.
He says given how long the Mutharika government has been using the arbitrary arrests to silence and intimidate political opponents, it is clear that the powers of the president continue to be abused, saying democratic rights of people are still under assault.
“And now having turned Malawi into a lawless state in which those who speak their minds are arrested while those who steal our taxes walk free, every Malawian can see with their own eyes that Mutharika has never been fit to govern,” says the statement.
Chakwera then condemned the arrest of Kalindo and called for his immediate release.
Eastern region police spokesperson Joseph Sauka says Kalindo is expected to appear in court this afternoon.
Police last evening took Kalindo to Zomba after the law enforcers barred party supporters from holding a vigil at Area 30, the police headquarters in Lilongwe.
Police were elusive on the matter but UTM spokesperson Joseph Chidanti Malunga confirmed that Kalindo is now in Zomba awaiting appearance in court.
“He has been taken to Zomba. Our legal team have confirmed this. The police say Honourable Kalindo allegedly committed the crime in Balaka and he would be tried in Zomba,” said Malunga.
The Mulanje west legislator has since been charged with disorderly conduct at a police station and insulting the president.
Police spokesperson James Kadadzera said Kalindo, a veteran actor has been charged with disorderly conduct at a police station contrary to section 153 (1) of the police Act as well as insulting the head of state which violates Section 4 of the Protected Flag, Emblems and Names Act.
According to one of the video clips circulating in social media, Kalindo led the chants Mutharika wapenga misala [Mutharika is demented].
But Chidanti Malunga described the arrest as politically motivated aimed at silencing the ever popular Saulos Chilima and his UTM.
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