Malawi authorities early Wednesday moved detained Atupele Muluzi, a Member of Parliament and son of former President Bakili Muluzi, to Maula Prison in Lilongwe.
The 34-year-old Muluzi is also a 2014 presidential aspirant in the opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) party was arrested on Tuesday and has been charged with inciting violence.
He was being held at Lumbadzi Police Station near Kamuzu International Airport but security forces moved him to Maula Prison in the heart of the capital early on Wednesday where he will be remanded.
Police spokesman David Chingwalu said Muluzi “arrogantly” defied a police commissioner’s order to postpone a rally over the weekend.
Angry residents of Area 24 in Lilongwe s burned down a police unit and destroyed cars parked near the station after they clashed with security officials when they fired tear gas to prevent Atupele from addressing a rally on Sunday.
Chingwalu blames Muluzi for the destroyed police property, saying “he was arrogant” for not respecting the decision by authorities not to address the rally.
Several opposition parties have condemned Muluzi’s arrest saying it is a political move to silence critics of President Bingu Wa Mutharika’s administration, an assertion police spokesman Chingwalu denies.
“This is a professional police service that works independently without being ordered by any political party,” said Chingwalu on VOA. “Muluzi has been arrested because he has committed a criminal offense like any other person who has committed this offense, and he will be taken to court as the law says.”
According to Chingwalu, the police plan to arrest opposition supporters who destroyed police property.
“We are investigating further so that we can also arrest some other people who part in this violence. In fact we have also managed to arrest several of them apart from Muluzi himself,” said Chingwalu.