Malawi Law Society defends police over HRDC arrests
Malawi Law Society (MLS) president Burton Chidongondo Mhango has backed the Police action in arresting two leaders of the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC), Gift Trapence and MacDonald Sembereka, saying by declaring their plan publicly to seal State Residencesm which are protected, the activists flouted laws of the land.
HRDC and others, were planning a “citizen’s electoral justice march” to the State House on 25 March aimed to pressure President Peter Mutharika to sign election reforms bills passed by parliament.
Law Society president said being human rights activists does not mean they are above the law, saying they need “not to be lawless in their conduct.”
Said Mhango: “An attempt ti commit an offence is a crime and planning can lead to committing an offence. If someone was planning to seal State House that was reason enough to be picked.”
Since last year’s May election results, the HRDC has been organizing protests, which have sometimes turned violent.
National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera said the plan amounted to incitement for unauthorized assembly.
“Basically, the charge is coming under Section 124 of the Penal Code that is of inciting people to seal state residences. In fact, we have in custody the two individuals. We will take them to court anytime soon,” he said.
Kadadzera said police were also looking for HRDC chairperson Timothy Mtambo who remains “on the run.”
Parliament in February passed the electoral reforms bills, which paves the way for fresh elections after the constitutional court nullified the May polls.
The court cited massive irregularities in the vote, which saw Mutharika re-elected.
The electoral bills propose a date for fresh elections and procedures to follow in case of runoffs.
Malawi’s constitution gives the president 21 days to sign the bills into law. But, some activists, like the HRDC, and opposition parties worry Mutharika will drag out the process.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :
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My friend Burton, are you speaking for yourself or MLS? Which law are you applying? Is arresting of Human Rights activist a sensible thing anywhere in the world? Please keep your partisan views to yourself
Mr chidongondo Mhango tell Munthalika to fire MEC commissioners first as directed by Malawians through the parliament appointment committee.why is he playing games with the owners of the land.Dpp must fall.
My friend Burton are you speaking for yourself or for MLS? Which law are you applying. It is true that someone can go through education without being educated. We know kuti anakudyetsani Banzi mungokhala chete apa
These thugs are not above the law. Tazunzika pakwana. We have list our property .Let them go to mangichr Alaina nyekwe
Fighting for true social justice and equality is not a risk-free business. When Late Chakufwa Chihana came from Zambia to challenge ‘Ngwazi Ya Myaya’s’ one party system, many people thought he was crazy, and ‘death’ by crocodile’s feed had a high probability. Who said freedom fighting was child’s play anyway? The DPP was slowly but surely strangling the social justice system and democratic freedoms of the nation by its attempt to ‘state’ capture most if not all institutions that form the general body of a true democratic society. One of the most important of such institutions is THE MALAWI POLICE… Read more »
You are a useless lawyer Mhango! and it is sad you speak for an institution of learned persons! If every proclamation can be considered a crime how many times would your tinpot dictator Mutharika have contravened the law??!!!
He is not useless being human rights does not mean bringing lawlessness in the land. Mtambo and his colleagues why dont they go and pressurize MPs to honour section 64 and 65? Dont you see that the human rights are being violated by these greedy MPs? Even Chakwera himself why does not he support this so that if MP crosses the floor should not go to court for an injunction and that if Mp fails to deliver according to people’s expectations should be recalled to his constitutents? Zaumbuli zokhazokha zomwe muchita apa mudziwoneka ngati ndinu zenizeni dza ziiiiii!
MLS is taliking rubbish, Muntharika as a primary custodian of our country’s constitution and…. is obliged by the same to sign and protect the laws of the land and its people not for any political party even his own. Nalikukuti is failing to sign the laws of the land to save face and interest of his political party which is breaking the law too, then why MLS didn’t advise its clown to do so in the first place to avert this crisis?
We need more of these organisations to speak up against these violent people from HRDC, MCP to UTM
Mhango is not a spokesperson of MLS. Rather he is a cadet and a brother to bwana Mhango anali mu boma aja ndipo analephera kuwina mpando kwawo.
Mtambo should face the law.