Malawi Congress Party (MCP) spokesperson Jessie Kabwila has been arrested and charged with sedition over a conversation on WhatsApp that purportedly talks about how President Peter Mutharika could be toppled, police said on Monday.
Kabwila and MCP legal advisor Lewis Chakhwantha could not be found on Sunday when police arrested another MCP member Ulemu Msungama on similar charges.
However, the two were at the Parliament chamber on Monday afternoon at the start of mid-term budget review.
Actually Minister of Gender Patricia Kaliati commented on when she imparted words of wisdom to Kabwila: “Osamaopa (don’t be afraid), be strong.”
After the day’s adjournment, Police arrested Kabwila – contrary to laws that an MP should not be arrested when coming from or going to parliament.
They dragged her to Kanengo police station for questioning .
National Police Spokesperson Nicholas Gondwa has confirmed the arrest of Kabwila that she faces sedition charges contrary to Section 51 of the Penal Code.
They were also looking for Chankwantha to be arrested on similar charges.
He asked other suspects he could not name to hand themselves over for questioning in relation to their ongoing investigations into a WhatsApp discussion, which they claim is linked a plot to overthrow the government.
Police say the MCP members discussed how to conduct an insurrection similar to Egyptian revolt that brought down Hosni Mubarak after nearly three decades in power.
“If the investigations lead us into new avenues we will arrest more,” Gondwa said.
Kabwila is MP for Salima North West while Chakwantha is legislator for Lilongwe Rural South West.
MCP has rejected accusations by police that its members were part of a plan to topple the government by violent means.
MCP Deputy Secretary General Eisenhower Mkaka said the arrests might be an attempt to destabilise the MCP and the the opposition.
“No one would deny they want a better Malawi,” Mkaka said.
He said it’s a big leap to say MCP members discussing about Malawi woes they’re planning to make a serious threat against anyone.
“The whole thing is ridiculous.”
Mkaka said the arrests are clearly being driven by a political agenda to “instil fear in people.”
MCP called the arrest and sedition charges as “outrageous .”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :