Kabwila charged with ‘treason’, bail granted: Malawi WhatsApp coup plot

Hundreds of Malawi Congress Parrty (MCP) supporters on Tuesday morning cheered their party spokesperson Jessie Kabwila in Lilongwe  after bail was granted following her arrest on Monday after attending parliament.

Kabwila with Kaliwo out of police

Kabwila with Kaliwo out of police

Kabwila: Released on bail

Kabwila: Released on bail

Kabwira was arrested on Monday and told Nyasa Times that she had been charged with “treason” over a conversation on WhatsApp that purportedly talks about how President Peter Mutharika could be toppled.

“I have been charged with treason and not sedition. It’s laughable to use archaic oppressive laws to punish opposition,” said Kabwila to Nyasa Times accompanied by MCP secretary general and her lawyer Gustav Kaliwo.

On Monday night, MCP members stormed the Kanengo holding cells where they chanted anti government songs and blocked the main gate with a lorry.

“Zonse zimene, nza Kamuzu Banda,” sang some women MCP supporters, as they whipped up emotions and support for Kabwila by chanting the name of MCP’s and Malawi founding president.

MCP members became more angry when the police officers had refused Kabwila’s mother to enter and see her daughter.

It took intervention of senior Police officers to let Kabwila’s mother in as demanded by the family and the MCP members.

On Monday, Members of Parliament removed police roadblocks which were mounted around at the entrance of the Parliament.

Police mounted a roadblock before arresting Kabwila who was enroute to German Embassy to seek refuge.

The arrest of Kabwira is contrary to laws of Malawi that an MP should not be arrested when coming or going to parliament.

National Police Spokesperson Nicholas Gondwa said there could be more arrests.

“We have arrested in connection to the conversation on the WhatsApp,” said Gondwa.

Kabwila and MCP legal advisor Lewis Chakhwantha could not be found on Sunday when police arrested another MCP member Ulemu Msungama who has been pressed with sedition charges.

However, the two were at the Parliament chamber on Monday afternoon at the start of mid-term budget review.

Meanwhile  Chankwantha is still taking refuge at German Embassy.

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 .”

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david ntonya

Piter ali boo! Amcp alibe nfundo koma kutukwana ngti chakwela anaba ndalamazampigo nkupeza ndalamazakampeni sikuti azitukwanila asofoleli olamla iothawiyaosinafike

Comzy Mdalah

Nzimai opandaT khalidwe ngat uyu sinamuonepo tampangeni tintini kumeneko iyah

Great care should be taken by the Govt because it might be those planning to overthrow this current leadership as per story is saying are deliberately doing these knowingly that once arrested they will find their way to mobilize many in against that.This can bring something sour to every nation that are evolved in that. Oh! money is good indeed by sometimes is the root of all evils.If there was no packages in leadind the country,only few people would have accepted the responsibility but many could been saying “musiyesi azilamulirabe zaulelezo”. Ngat zili zopeka kuwanamizila anthuwa kuti ali ndi maganizo… Read more »
chokani Banda
Muntharika has very bad advisers who just worsen his chance to even rule the nation. If these so called spys take a mini bus they willhear how people talk about Peter and his governmnent. Whatsupp is not a place to make a plot. Its a shame for law professor not to know this. One wonder what law did he learn. The more DDP is intimaditing oppositions the more un popular rheir party is becoming. They are just increasing votes and popularity to MCP. They have the reason to fear. Not many Malawians will vote for DDP. Now Mbendera should see… Read more »
Justice L B Smock

Is malawi rearly ademocratic country?Nanga bwanj akumanga anthu chifukwa cha chilungamo chomwe akuyankhula.Paja chikungamodi chimawawa.

chokani Banda
This shows DDP failure to rule the nation. The teuth Majority of Malawians are talking of put APM/DDP down. There is no secret. The good party the internation are suporting with no aid APM is alrady down. He might not accept the fact that he has no suport of Malawians. He knew hat no Malawians wanted him. Its his brother who was pushing people without his brother he is nothing. Why can he not just see that aid is withdrawn because of him not PP cash gate. He critised MCP during Banda but what is he doung himsef? He and… Read more »
James makawa

Solve things amicably please stop arresting. Ppl for no reason this. Is democracy makawa James. South Africa


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