Immigration department has deported an Indian doctor after he refused to implicate UTM Party president Saulos Chilima over rigging allegations.
Malawi Police in Mzuzu arrested a UTM member and the security personnel Shaggy Mlanga and the visiting Indian doctor Charran Gutala on allegations that they were plotting to rig the May 21 2019 tripartite elections.
UTM secretary general Patricia Kaliati said the government was pressuring Gutala to implicate Chilima in the rigging allegations.
“But Gutala refused to betray Dr. Chilima, this is why he has been deported,” said Kaliati.
She said Gtala and Mlanga met in the Democratic Republic of Congo where Mlanga was serving in the UN peace keeping mission and Gutala was the doctor.
“They made a special bond after Mlanga was injured and Gutala successfully treated him. This is why he came to Malawi to visit his long-time friend,” said Kaliati.
She said the only crime Gutala made leading to his arrest and subsequent deportation was that he put on a UTM barret as part of fun.
Earlier, UTM director of Legal Affairs Yasin Maoni said the state followed the two on suspicion they wanted to rig the May 21 elections.
“According to directives issued recently to the police and Immigration department, they followed up on Dr. Gutala on suspicion that he might be connected with the concocted rumour of rigging machination, especially on his hanging out with a UTM member,” said Maoni.
He said Gutala and Mlanga were confronted by police in Mzuzu on April 26, saying the doctor was searched as well as the place where he resides but the police found nothing of value.
The UTM director of Legal Affairs said the police then confiscated the doctor’s laptop and told him to report to Lilongwe police station for the laptop to be searched.
“They travelled from Mzuzu to Lilongwe police headquarters and nothing was found at which point the police indicated that they have got no issue with him but were just waiting for Immigration officers to verify travel documents,” said Maoni.
Maoni said when the Immigration officers came, they found that Gutala had valid travel documents and legally came to Malawi.
However, they said they would still keep him in custody for violating his permit conditions to not participate in local political activities.
“They said his sin was that he wore a UTM barret and that is participating in politics. They allege they want to investigate the issue further. There is no suh rule in our immigration law that prohibits a foreigner on visiting permit from wearing any party uniform,” said Maoni.
In the process, Mlanga, in solidarity with his visitor, demanded that he be incarcerated as well and some commotion ensued as the police beat him up and was locked up, according to Maoni.
Ironically, other visiting foreigners who put on the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) party regalia is left scot free and attends DPP political rallies undisturbed.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :