Malawi ‘midnight six’ arrests imminent- Police

Malawi Police Service are said to have completed their investigations over the alleged coup attempt by  former six cabinet ministers who attempted to stop President Joyce Banda from taking office after the death of President Bingu wa Mutharika on April 5, 2012.

The six who addressed a controversial  news conference  at night on April 5 2012 to announce the blocking of the then vice-president Joyce Banda from assuming the presidency.

The former ministers wanted in court are Patricia Kaliati, who read the statement during the news conference, Symon Vuwa Kaunda, Dr Jean Kalilani, Henry Mussa, Nicholas Dausi and Kondwani Nakhumwa.

Kaliati: Faces arrest

They are all members of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) which was in power when late Mutharika was Head of State.Among the things that the ministers said during the news conference which received wide condemnation from various quarters, including Malawi Law Society, was that Banda’s formation of the People’s Party (PP) precludes her from ascending to the presidency

The news conference came after Banda had addressed the media advocating for the respect of Section 83 (4) of the Constitution which was also echoed by former president Bakili Muluzi at a separate press briefing.

“Kaliati spoke against the constitution of the land and tried to usurp the powers of the land. The rest will be charged with conspiracy to over throw a Government. The cases are supposed to come very soon,” said a source at National Police Headquarters prosecution office.

The six have tried to justify their innocence despite addressing a live television and radio conference which is said will be played during the trial.

Treason in Malawi carries a death penalty.

Another source said the matter was shelved to pave way for the Commission of Inquiry on the death of Bingu wa Mutharika but recent political outbursts by Kalirani, Kaliati, Mussa and Dausi have irked some people who want the six prosecuted immediately.

“Their charges were already prepared and we are now just waiting to get to the magistrates court for authorization before they are picked. They are likely to picked soon,”  said the Police officer.

 

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