The influential Chewa Senior Chief Kaomba of Kasungu has cautioned against arbitray arrests which are politically motivated, saying President Peter Mutharika’s cabinet ministers and a pool of his advisors should work for the best interests of Malawians.
Chief Kaomba made the remarks during a news conferencee in Lilongwe organized by the Chiefs Forum.
Since Sunday this week, the police have been arresting MCP officials including Ulemu Msungama (who is challenging the disputed 2014 election results for Lilongwe City South East Constituency), Jessie Kabwira (Lawmaker for Salima North West) and Peter Chankhwantha (legislator for Lilongwe Rural South West) over WhatsApp conversation and have been accused of sedition and treason.
Kaomba said : “ I urge the police to work professionally, they should not be dragged into politics that will divide the country. Malawi has never been to war and we don’t even want one.”
The Senior Chief also advised President Mutharika’s pool of advisors and cabinet minister to be pillars of peace when discharging their work.
“Ministers and presidential advisors should be advising the President based on facts on the ground. They should not be misleading him because at the end of the day, citizens will continue to suffer,” he said.
The chiefs forum was formed in January to enable the Chiefs to come together and comment on things of national importance with a collective stand.
Meanwhile, the state funded Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) has vehemently faulted unprofessional conduct of Malawi Police for arresting MCP officials without substantial evidence and raping the constitution of detaining lawmakers when parliament is in session.
MHRC Chairperson, Justice Dzonzi said in a statement that there is the need for police to conduct their duties in accordance with the law not political influences saying such conduct diminish the trust people have on them as custodians of law and order.
The human rights body observed that the conduct of the police violated the law of the land section 153 which gives the powers to protect public safety and rights of all Malawians in accordance with the Constitution and any other law and apprehend and for whose apprehension sufficient grounds exist.
Dzonzi said the manner and the timing of the arrests of the three politicians raise serious issues with respect to the openness of the human rights space in Malawi, given previous experiences under different administrations where similar arrests have been orchestrated as a way of suppression of critics or dealing with dissent.
“Past experience shows that state agencies have been employed as instruments for dealing with what are deemed to be the critics of sitting Governments in a heavy handed manner, for example through unwarranted arrests on apparent trumped up charges, subjection of critics to undue processes at the hands of the police and various other threats either through anonymous telephone calls to public rally pronouncements isolating and demonizing selected critics.
“Complicit in these developments was the state media and some NGOs that played the role of fuelling attacks against critics through broadcast of propaganda. Regrettably, this historic turn of events seem to be slowly being reincarnated with the recent developments of NGOs that have grouped together to downplay the critics of the current ruling party, as well as the consistent monitoring of the views and opinions of such NGOs by the state broadcaster in a manner that borders on propaganda.”
MHRC said it is calling on political players from across different parties to ensure that they exercise the “ highest degree of tolerance of the diverse views.”
Inspector General (IG) of Police Lexten Kachama told the news conference on Wednesday, February 24 in the capital Lilongwe that there is no evidence to press treason charge against MCP official contracting his spokesperson, Nicholas Gondwa that MCP officials were charged with sedition and treason.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :