Malawi’s former president, Joyce Banda, has criticised the arrest of her sister Cecilia Kumpukwe by police on Tuesday as politically motivated.
Kumpukwe was arrested at her home in Chigumula, Blantyre in connection to a fake resignation letter allegedly written by Vice President Saulos Chilima.
Former president’s spokesperson AndekucheChanthunya, said JB has described her sister’s arrest as part of witch-hunt and harassment against her family.
She claimed Kumpukwe was the victim of a political conspiracy after police are accusing her of participation in forgery and false document.
“She strongly condemns the arrest and believes this is part of the long standing systematic harassment the state has been handing out to the former president and her immediate family,” said Chanthunya.
He said the arrest was timed “to demonise” the former president’s family and was “politically motivated.”
Chanthuya said Kumpukwe police had no arrest warrant when they picked her.
National Police Headquarters spokesperson James Kadadzera said law enforcers were interested to interrogate Kumpukwe after they have been looking for people in connection to the fake letter.
Kumpukwe becomes a second person to be arrested in the matter after Nyasa Times reported that another woman, Stella Asani, an operative of former ruling Peoples’s Party (PP) of Banda was also arrested last week.
She is still in police custody and is yet to be charged.
According to Chamthunya, both Kumpukwe and Asani has been denied access to lawyers.
“This is a growing trend of the current administration to intimidate members of Joyce Banda’s party,”
“This is because Joyce Banda is about to return home soon,” said Chanthunya.
He said the manner in which they have been arrested raises serious human rights questions. They were both arrested in Blantyre and driven 300 kilometers to Lilongwe to be remanded as if there are no police cells in the commercial city.
Chanthunya said the State are using police to employ tactics of persecution and torture.
He told Daybreak Malawi program on Capital Radio that Banda and himself are not going to be intimidated and they don’t fear arrest.
“I have been in politics since 2001 and i don’t fear arrest. I have fought against third term bid by former president Bakili Muluzi so what is this?,” said Chanthunya who is also a relation to Joyce Banda.
But Minister of Information and Communications Technology Nicholas Dausi whi is government spokesman told Daybreak Malawi that the spate of arrest on fake resignation letter by the veep are not politically motivate.
“If someone who is related to a politician commits arrest should they not be charged? A crime is a crime no matter who commits it,” said Dausi.
Dausi encouraged Banda to return home “and she will answer some questions.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :