Front Line Defenders ask Malawi to release 8 Tanzanian ‘spies’

Front Line Defenders, an international human rights organisation, is persuading Malawi government to release of eight Tanzanians languishing in remand custody in Malawi, where they are facing criminal trespass charges.

President Magufuli and President Mutharika: We are cool like that

The Malawian security officers arrested them in December, last year, at the Kayerekera Uranium Mine Site in Karonga where it was initially alleged that the latter were sent by the Tanzania government to investigate if Malawi was manufacturing nuclear weapons.

But Front Line Defenders in a statement made available to Nyasa Times by Advocacy Officer Philip Hoschitiz, said they are  deeply concerned with the physical and psychological integrity of the eight detained Tanzanian nationals.

The organization said that the arrested suspects are the environmental defenders and that their visit in Malawi was part of their normal journey.

“The arrested are all affiliated with various civil society groups, some with initiated a small consortium called Tanzania Uranium Awareness Mission (TUAM) which is platform for knowledge exchange and information sharing in socio-economic and environmental impacts related to mining and extractions,” reads part of the statement.

The statement  said  their cross-learning visit was nothing more than ‘cover for an act of espionage.’

Front Line Defenders further said the life of  the suspects at the Mzuzu Prison are at risk especially because the detention conditions are reported to be characterized by overcrowding, poor sanitation and malnutrition.

“We therefore urge the Malawi government to immediately and unconditionally release the eight Tanzanian human rights defenders,” added the statement.

While the suspects have been charged criminal trespass and spying cases, the Front Line Defenders argued that the group was escorted by five Malawians who were left free at Karonga district police station.

However, Malawi government is yet to issue a comment on the matter.

Meanwhile,  Tanzania’s Foreign Affairs Ministry’s spokesperson Mindi Kasiga  said Dar es Salaam will continue to use diplomacy to negotiate the release of the Tanzanians accused of spying in Malawi.

Malawi Foreign Affars  Ministry sources say there are prospects to release the Tanzanians following  President Peter Mutharika’s bilateral meetings with Tanzania’s President John Magufuli.

Nyasa Times reported about the meeting and posted  pictures of Mutharika and Magufuli sharing light moments after their meeting.

And the social media was awash with the pictures, including those of the two leaders shaking and holding hands in a photo opportunity after the discussions.

A video clip circulating on social media shows both leaders sloganeering, starting with Magufuli saying “Malawi woyee!” and Mutharika reciprocating “Tanzania woyee!.”

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25 thoughts on “Front Line Defenders ask Malawi to release 8 Tanzanian ‘spies’”

  1. tanzania can’t send spies to ‘poor malawi’, if its matter of uranium tanzania has larger uranium deposit than malawi, Also tanzanian economy/gdp ($47bn) is ten times larger than that of malawi ($4bn), as nuclear weapon production needs much funding then what can you do with that $4bn gdp?, and btn you and tanzania who has the ability to produce nuclear weapons? ), do you think its easy like fishing in lake malawi, poor minds!, what leads most if not all malawians’ hearts is hatre against tanzania due to lake nyasa dispute, but you people forget one thing that capturing tanzanian citizens will never solve the problem instead it increases tension and ofcourse tanzania can revenge in so many ways…

  2. chodibwa says:

    kUKANAKHALA KU MAYIKO A ALUYA KAPENA ASIA BWENZI ATAPHEDWA KALE KOMA POTI NDI KU MALAWI NDI TULO TATU TOMAGONA EVEN UKUDYA KATUNDU WAMKAZAKO BASI NKHANI ZAKE ZIMAKHALA CHONCHI. asatuluke agaru amenewo chonde APM. DZIKO LINAPELEKA MPHAMVU KUTI USAMALILE MALAWI ZAKA 5 ZI UKACHITA BWINO TIZAKUSANKHANSO 2019. APM UKANGOYELEKEZA KUWATULUSA AGARU A KU TANZANIA WA VOTI YANGA 2019 SINDIZAKUPATSA

  3. Jonathan says:

    Thats nonses What the FLD saying, we don’t have such organisation in Malawi and how come to say they came for sharing idea with whom, who invited them, how can you enter some body’s property without permision, defend your Tanzania Mr we defending our Malawi don’t take some chances.

  4. Hobbley Gondwe says:

    Those 8 Tanzania has not tobe release

  5. Hon Pwhisi says:

    Al-Qaeda Muzuzu has a job for you. 8 silly Taifas must have thier troats slit open this wii deter others with Similar intentions

  6. Sufyaan says:

    Very bulshit leadership like this. I ever seen b4

  7. Martin says:

    Fact is that the 8 Tanzanians entered Malawi in a friendly and absolutely legal way officially crossing the border at Karonga – there was no sneaking at all.
    All allegations of espionage lacked any facts or even hints from the beginning.
    FLD in its statement quotes local medias espionage allegations, but obviously itself is of exactly opposite opinion. Everybody can read himself. To twist someones words in such an obvious and mean way is unbelievable.

  8. Edundu Kabunduli says:

    At all don’t release them

  9. kaka says:

    Mukuti ma front liners kaya chiani zawo izo

  10. Mfumuzapansi. says:

    Very very offensive smell indeed. It is just two or three years ago then these Tayiffa came open that part off our lake is theirs, now they send spys in our country then you NGO and your nonsense president are just laughing hahahaha bullshit poor leadership!

  11. Kookhwa says:

    Dont let them go! Akunama afinyeni aulula zomwe MAGUFULI akukonza. Lelo nde wayamba za u broda/broda coz waona kuti zavuta.

  12. Good Samaritan says:

    These idiots were spies and we must trade carefully if need arise to release them, otherwise, let them rot in our cells. We can as well throw the prison keys into the southern part of the disputed lake.

  13. popapo says:

    Please ask Mr Silungwe who they claim invited them and they were communicating with him through emails. Ask Deo Gama who is nduna for GVH Malema in Karonga who has the full story about these people.

  14. mtete says:

    Why did the so-called environmentalist sneak into the country in the first place if they were on peaceful mission? And who are these Front line defenders? I am sick and tired with foreigners dictating what we should do. But then what do you expect from Leadership whose preoccupation is stealing and corruption?

  15. chikopa says:

    It smells here uuuuumfuuuu! here. this stupid ngo says some of those guys
    belong to the tanzanian ngo which deals with uranium. Something fishy is
    going on. Now to say malawians were released that is total rubbish because the
    poor malawians were just paid to escort the bastards. they were not part of
    that ill conceived action. now, let these guys confess who sent them and we
    can forgive them.

  16. BlackImage says:

    Azungu kukonda kulowelera za eni, asiyeni mafirika athane okha!!

  17. Joseph Banda says:

    Which is this group full of IDIOTS AND IMBECILES? PLEASE BUY TICKETS
    AND RUSH TO USA, maybe you are needed there. Why is Malawi being
    rediculed like this? VERY, VERY, VERY annoying.

  18. Kabilaboza Kabila says:

    Bull shit Front Line Defenders, where did those filthy Tayifas get the permission for the research they wanted to make? FLD do you know that Malawi is a sovereign state? You’re stupid.
    Philip know that this is the kind of situation in all Malawian prison as well as Tanzanian, overcrowding, malnutrition.

  19. Fabiano Kamanga says:

    BUT WHY DID THEY DECIDE TOO SNEAK INTO THE COUNTRY WITHOUT FOLLOWING PROPER PROCEDURES?

    MAGUFULI HAS ALWAYS BEEN AVOIDING MUTHARIKA. THE TWO WERE SCHEDULED TO MEET AND WHEN MAGUFULI LEARNT ABOUT IT, HE CANCELLED HIS TRIP TOTHE USA.

    I BELIEVE MALAWI NEEDS TO TRADE CAREFULLY. GOOD RELATIOS SHOULD NOT COME BECAUSE THE 8 HAVE BEEN ARRESTED. LET ALSO THE LAKE BOARDER ISSUE BE ADRESSED ONCE AND FOR ALL BEFORE RELEASING THESE CRIMINALS.

  20. falliot says:

    don’t release them, they are traitors…..

  21. Okoma Atani says:

    Dont release these tanzanians nilly willy! They should have followed protocal if they were here on official duty.

  22. Phillip says:

    Lilongwe, don’t release these Dodoma guys until we find the truth of their visit to Malawi. What inspired them to visit Malawi without following proper way? . Front Line Defenders, should not tell us what to do this is our country ( Timba samachepa ndi mazila ake). Tanzania should not give us headache and let those Tanzanians feel Mzuzu prison.

    1. Jennifer Tress says:

      HATRED HAD NEVER PAID, THESE GUYS ENTERED MALAWI LEGALLY AND NEVER COMMITTED ANY CRIME. CROSS LEARNING IS QUITE NORMAL AND NO NEED OF FIGHTING YOUR NEIGHBOUR WHOM YOU DEPEND ON IMPORTATION OF ALMOST 75% OF YOUR GOODS.

      1. cymru says:

        Jennifer don’t mix up issues here. Every country has laws for the locals and foreigners. Your last statement is bad and and I guesss you must be white and your thinking is similar to your other idiots who think poor Africans should be worshiping you because you have money which you stole from Africa and the wars you are promoting on the continent for your benefit. Tanzania has said they will pursue diplomacy for the release of the eight. So who are you? You think you are more intelligent than government of Tanzania?

      2. Davies Kadango says:

        They are lying. Those defenders are for Tanzania and not Malawi. Are they international defenders

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