Malawi Defence Force (MDF) soldiers and Malawi Police Service (MPS) have detained 16 people suspected of planning to disturb the voting process in central region district if Nkhotakota.
Nkhotakota District Commissioner (DC) who is also Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Returning Officer, Dr. Medson Matchaya confirmed of the arrests during a media briefing on Monday, evening.
Matchaya told the media that all the arrested are retired MDF soldiers who claimed to have come to the district as party representatives.
He said the 16 had used a vehicle, Minibus quantum with a registration number bearing the Fresh Presidential Election (FPE) customized number plate.
According to Matchaya, some residents of Nkhotakota became suspicious of the people and after quizzing them, they claimed to be soldiers.
The residents then reported the matter to MDF soldiers deployed in the district who after quizzing them, explained that they were party representatives who had been sent to the district to monitor the fresh presidential elections.
“The soldiers noted that they were all retired MDF soldiers and took them to the police station for further questioning where they implicated some people as being behind their mission,” said Matchaya.
He did not give particulars of those implicated on security grounds, but said they confessed to be working for the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
“This was coming from their mouth after being interrogated but investigations are still ongoing until the truth is established,” said Matchaya.
He, however, said none was found with marked or unmarked ballot papers as alleged by some people and had no weapons in their possession.
He called on people to vote despite the incident, saying it was their right to do so and assured them that MDF and police had tightened security in the district.
The DC also assured the people that the 16 will remain in detention until the truth is known and condemned any attempt by anyone to destabilize the election and the peace prevailing in the district.
All political party representatives and electoral stakeholders attended the press briefing and were given opportunity to ask questions.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :