Former Special Presidential Advisor Pastor Thom sues government for wrongful arrest 

The former Special Assistant and Advisor to President Lazarus Chakwera, Pastor Martin Thom has filed a suit against the Ministry of Homeland Security and the Office of the President and Cabinet, through the Attorney General, demanding sum of K1.6 billion in compensation for unlawful arrest in August last year.

This paper has established that a syndicate of some Government officials and politicians played out a political vendetta to get rid of Pastor Thom because they were very jealousy with his closeness with State President in that he was amongst the most trusted aides to the first citizen.

Our investigations have revealed that the police were quick to arrest the former Special Adviser when they actually knew that there was nothing wrong he had done only that it had to influence the decision of the President to fire him considering his tough stance on corruption and abuse of office.

Pastor Thom Martin
Although Pastor Thom refused to comment because as he put it the case is in court, however other sources close to him have revealed that he suffered a lot of pain both psychologically and physically because of this unlawful arrest which led to his being fired from his job.
It is said for instance that when the Senate of the top American University through which he was doing a PhD in Divinity heard about his arrest they disqualified him at the thesis level.
This being a very expensive university means that all his financial investment in his studies may have been in vain.
The trauma he and the family suffered for having his reputation seriously soiled is unmeasurable to an extent that his wife suffered a cardiac arrest when she heard of the arrest and this was the time she was already receiving medical attention in India. This was the time people speculated that he run away when in actual fact he had gone to take care of his wife while she was receiving treatment.
Through his lawyer Sylvester Ayuba James, Pastor Thom argues in court that the conduct of the State by arresting him was not followed by evidence that he had a hand in smuggling to parliament a bill that sought authorization to borrow money for the construction of houses for the Police, Malawi Defence Force and the Department of Immigration.
Ayuba James says his client was later cleared by Parliament on the matter hence the claim.
In August 2021 Malawi Police arrested Pastor Thom on allegations that he pioneered an illegal operation on how Bill number 22 of 2021 Loan Authorization found itself in Parliament on the order paper.
The bill, was seeking to allow Government to borrow €98 360 000 ( K93 billion) to finance the construction of houses for security agencies such as Malawi Police Service, Malawi Defence Force (MDF), Prison Services and Immigration Department.
Investigations by this paper further revealed that the Criminal Investigations Department in October last year actually produced a report of their investigations clearing Pastor Thom which was deliberately ignored by the then Police management.
It is important, both legally and morally for the Police and other law enforcement agencies to make sure that they carry out thorough investigations before they effect any arrest of individuals whose lives are usually permanently dented by those premature arrests.
It is critical to emphasize here that there is no amount of money that can adequately compensate people who suffer such kind of humiliating and unlawful arrest.
Arresting people should never be condoned as an investigation strategy hoping that those arrested may be able to confess to the alleged crimes under duress as if we are still in the one party dictatorial regime.
The Police and all the other law enforcement agencies must never allow to be used by politicians and other politically exposed individuals to do their bidding at the expense of the rule of law.

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