Malawi police summon Nyasa Times journalist over Cdedi report: ‘Thou shalt not criticise Chakwera’

Malawi Police summoned Nyasa Times journalist Watipaso Mzungu on Tuesday and held him detained at Area 30 Police headquarters in Lilongwe, interrogating him over a story published online on 1st April 2021 that quoted head of Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiative (Cdedi) Sylvester Namiwa who called President Lazarus Chakwera a joker and a time waster.

Cdedi executive director Silvester Namiwa: His statement quoted by Nyasa Times has sparked criminal investigations by police

Mzungu, a chief reporter for Nyasa Times,  was summoned by  director of CID at national police headquarters Emmanuel Soko.

He was being quizzed why he quoted the statement from the organisation that had  what police say disparaging comments criticising President Chakwera.

Police claim the story on Nyasa Times intended to undermine the authority of the Head of State.

Namiwa was reacting to Chakwera’s flip- flopping on cabinet assessment and reshuffle.

National Police spokesperson, James Kadadzera has not yet commented on the matter.

Police say Nyasa Times journalist by quoting Namiwa  was also criminally insulting Chakwera.

He was asked to submit the story he filed to Nyasa Times before it was edited and the original statement Namiwa sent.

In the story published on April 2, 2021 ,  Namiwa claimed that the postponement of the release of the new Cabinet has vindicated his organization’s fears that Malawians have “have a time waster and a joker in the high office of the presidency”.

“It was on 19th February 2021 when social media outlets were all awash with photos of Dr. Chakwera and the Vice President Dr. Saulos Chilima, apparently scrutinizing the Cabinet. On Tuesday, 30th March 2021, the State House was quoted as having announced that a cabinet shake-up was in the offing and that a new list of cabinet ministers would be announced within 24 hours. Come Wednesday, 31st March 2021, President Chakwera tells Malawians that he still needs more time to scrutinise the results of the cabinet assessment report which was submitted to him by Dr. Chilima a few days ago,” said Namiwa.

He reminded Tonse Alliance government that Malawians were tired of the comedy acted by the people they elected to spearhead the national socio-economic transformation agenda.

“What Malawians are anxiously waiting for from the two leaders are results, results, and results, and not jokes befitting Fools Day, which is 1st April,” said Namiwa.

Nyasa Times management said it stood in solidarity with Mzungu, who “has shown throughout the years his commitment to a journalism free of any allegiance.”

The authorities have since been asked to fulfil their  duty to protect the right to freedom of expression and to immediately stop harassing journalists.

Mzungu has since been released by police unconditionally.

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Keen Observer
Keen Observer
5 days ago

Will Malawi Police ever gonna change or transform rather????? It seems that we have had these stories for an endless time now. Does Top Police Management know their constitutional mandate? And do they think that President is God that must not be questioned or criticised?????

Alungwana
Alungwana
5 days ago

The police lacked professionalism apatu.

Kikkkk

Limm
Limm
5 days ago

Eeeh…. hmm. After all the rot that’s associated with the history of MCP and you are still doing this. After making a name for arresting innocent people, you’re still showing signs of unrepentant attitudes.

Least we forget, this is just a tiny little list of innocent Malawians that suffered under your leadership:

Jack Mapanje, Matchipisa Munthali. Kadango, Msungama, Brown Mpinganjira, George Mtafu, Aleke Banda, Solombela, Disi, Martin Longwe, 14 year old James Chagoma, Blaise, Martin Chunga – just to mention a very few..

STOP IT!

Marumbo
6 days ago

OMG I am being reminded of the old MCP atrocities again. MCP knows that if they shall manage to gag the media then all our freedoms can easily be gagged too. Typical of the dictator regime. Izitu tisazisekerere aMalawi tidzalira mfeeee the way we cried under Kamuzu. I am worried. This is Chakwera’s 10th month in office koma wayamba kale nkhanza chonchi eish!!!

Mzakwacha Nixon's
Mzakwacha Nixon's
6 days ago

I don’t see why police arrested the Journalist…
He was /is very right
The president through his press Sec,said he is going to reshuffle cabinet Before April,contrary to his words,he didn’t…..Atolankhani are free…..like every citizen.
Police must be questioned,give reasons why exactly they arrested him.

Mdala
Mdala
6 days ago

One of the most outstanding under or wrongly performing and non competent public service in our country is without doubt our police service! Do they really know the law and the constitution of our country to do their job for all parts of soceity and not only to please their masters and themselves? MPS like this you bring us only back

Amunabigdaddy
Amunabigdaddy
6 days ago

Kaya, which part of HI5 is this? Mwina it’s one of the five fingers on the other hand.

1)Arbitrary arrest
2)Harassment of journalists
3)Abuse of Covid funds (6.2 billion+11 billion unaccounted)
4)Habitual lying and broken promise.
5) Empty speeches in Ghetto pimp slung learned in the brothels of 1980 Chicago.

Rocky Dada
Rocky Dada
6 days ago

Kwantere nchiani delo???Ah ah ah aaa. Basop, we dont want police brutality, harassment and intimidation in this modern day age. You have lots of work to do out there protecting Citizens fullstop!!! Dont even dare remind us of the atrocities committed during the 30 year dictatorship. I’ve read almost all criticisms relating to delays in reshufling the cabinet and they all valid! We dont want timid leadership and thats why we are here to vehemently denounce! We want decisiveness, keeping promises amd real development!!!! And we wont stop until the last drop mpaka development yize yakukwa a!Tapulikana kodi. I hope… Read more »

MCP Diehard
MCP Diehard
5 days ago
Reply to  Rocky Dada

Ola tisamvane, nde utani?
Chakwera owns Malawi now. Deal with it.

Castello Ibrahim
Castello Ibrahim
4 days ago
Reply to  MCP Diehard

This is blind loyalty at its best

Otayo
Otayo
6 days ago

There is Law of Freedom of speech in Malawi.
Hence the journalist did not break any Law by expressing his freedom of speech.

Contrary his detention was unlawful.
It is the police who should be placed in the dock for that unlawful detention and depriving a citizen of his liberty

Mzakwacha Nixon's
Mzakwacha Nixon's
6 days ago
Reply to  Otayo

You are very right,journalist has the right.
Police would like to go to Kamuzu regime….
Zichepe and those police must be disciplined&amupepetse mtolankhaniyo.

Otayo
Otayo
6 days ago

Freedom of Speech is the universal Human Right in all Democratic and Civilised countries :
1. Freedom of speech means the right even to offend someone regardless of their position or status

Only autocratic governments or police state government tend to hinder Freedom of speech

Mzakwacha Nixon's
Mzakwacha Nixon's
6 days ago
Reply to  Otayo

Malawi Police will never change…
Don’t dirten Chakwera Admin please

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