Malawi Watch executive director Billy Banda, a human rights activist , has questioned the conduct by the law enforcing agencies Malawi Police Services and the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) of persecuting the opposition while serving the interest of the state while Youth and Society (YAS) says there long arm of the law should reach offenders.
Banda during a news conference noted that the police and the graft-busting body has of late shown interest in prosecuting cases that were committed during the immediate past regime of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) just because it has lost power.
He said the conduct of Police and ACB must not be condoned in any democracy as it is tantamount to selective justice.
“It’s very unfortunate, it was not expected that these two state organs would come out against the previous regime immediately after losing power.
“It is as if they are playing political witchunting to the previous regime while appeasing the new administration just to serve their jobs ,its very unfortunate,” said Banda.
Banda addressed a news conference with other civil society organisation leaders organised in Blantyre on Sunday under the platform of Civil Society Task Force led by the National Election System Trust (NEST) of Unandi Banda.
At the briefing which activists Philip Kamangira as well as Unandi and also political analyst Ceaser Kondowe ,Trade Unionist Luther Mambala were in attendance , the police was also critised for showing no interest in persecuting some electoral violence complaints by the DPP alleging that monitors for the party were bared in monitoring the elections especially in the central region.
The comments follow the arrest of DPP regional governor for the Centre David Kambalame on Thursday, on alleged assault charges which came on the heels of the arrest of the party’s Bangwe Mthandizi Ward Councillor Isaac ‘Jomo’ Osman over allegations of theft and malicious damage.
The ACB has also moved quickly in prosecuting the alleged judges bribery case in the then election petition case by business tycoon Thom Mpinganjira of FDH bank ,applying to the courts that the matter be moved from the magistrate court to the high court.
DPP spokesperson Nicholas Dausi, who was minister of Homeland Security in the Peter Mutharika administration, alleged that the State wants to use arreste to silence the DPP, which is now an opposition party.
Dausi said he was aware that senior members and leaders of DPP are targeted for offences they did not commit, alleging that the Tonse Alliance, which took over power led by Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM, was geared to arrest DPP members on tramped-up charges.
But MCP spokesperson the Reverend Maurice Munthali said his party was aware of a DPP scheme to pre-empt obvious pending arrests of its members who plundered public funds and are now living in fear.
Youth and Society (YAS) also said DPP members should face the law if they committed any crimes.
Programme Manager for YAS, Mwandida Theu aid Civil Society Organisations cannot condemn the arrests because it is possible that some DPP members committed crimes and were not prosecuted when the party was in government.
“Civil Society Organisations will make sure that we hold them (DPP members) accountable and they should face the law. That is what we want and we wouldn’t back them,” said Theu.
National police spokesperson James Kadadzera said they keep records and at an appropriate time, and after thorough investigations, arrests are made.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :