A political commentator has said the arrests of two renowned rights activists on Sunday is a sign of deepening political crisis in the country ignited by the flawed May 21, 2020 elections.
Sheriff Kaisi has said this following the arrest of Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) officials Gift Trapence and MacDonald Sembereka for organising the shutdown of state residences to force President Peter Mutharika fire Malawi Electoral Commission commissioners following recommendations from the Constitutional Court and the parliamentary Public Appointments Committee.
“Since Malawians voted on May 21, we have seen waves of demonstrations in the country, the country has been in very deep crisis and the arrests are just part of the deepening political crisis,” said Kaisi.
Many people have described the arrests as political intimidation.
Yasin Maoni, a legal practitioner said President Peter Mutharika was careless to make such political podium statements on the crackdown of the rights activists, lots of sharp pointed attacks and innuendoes, and then effectuate an arrest.
“It smacks of political persecution and victimization. It depicts a sort of emotional and personalized use of the state powers of arrest, and abuse of the law enforcement arm of the justice machinery.
“If some people break the law, if at all, it must be handled legally away from the political podium and distanced from the emotional and personalized gestures,” says Maoni.
Added he: “This is the trench we must not fall in. Justice must be seen to be done, but not to be seen to be a tool for terrorizing and silencing dissenting voices.”
Police are still looking for the HRDC chairperson Timothy Mtambo who has gone into hiding in fear of the arrest.
Meanwhile, members of HRDC are currently holding a meeting to, among others, plan nationwide demonstrations against the arrest of their colleagues last evening.
HRDC spokesperson Luke Tembo says they are planning to hold solidarity demonstrations as soon as possible.
In Rumphi, HRDC members have issued a notice of demonstrations to be conducted Tuesday.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :