Malawi Police on Saturday evening released on bail John Kapito, who chairs the state-funded Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC), after charging him with possession of seditious material and foreign currency without valid documents.
Earlier, security forces led by Lexa Chalera, the head of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Malawi Police, raided the house of Kapito in Lilongwe .
But the search which was witnessed by lawyers representing Kapito is reported to have yielded nothing.
Police spokesman Dave Chingwalu, confirmed that cops raided the home of Kapito, but declined to reveal the purpose of the search “to avoid jeopardising investigations.”
“The police stormed the house and didn’t find anything. They left after a long search,” one of Kapito’s lawyers, Ian Malera said.
Police spokesman said Kapito, an outspoken critic of President Bingu wa Mutharika, was arrested after being found holding US dollars and euros without “valid bank documents.”
Chingwalu said police wanted to interrogate Kapito on how he obtained the money, saying the law demands that applicants must first process bank documents to possess foreign currency.
He was due to leave for UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva Switzerland on Sunday to present a paper on the human rights situation in the Malawi.
The rights activist, who also heads the Consumers Association of Malawi, had reportedly applied for forein currency at Standard Bank and was given the same.
The regime thought that he would be carrying materials castigating Mutharika dictatorship and that he would fail to get forex from banks, hence the trap of the search.