Malawi top rights activist Kapito arrested over ‘forex’

A top human rights activist has been arrested in Malawi, in what observers deplores as an attempt to silence government critics.

John Kapito, chairperson of the state-funded Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC), was arrested on Saturday in Lilongwe.

Malawi police spokesman Davie Chingwalu confirmed the arrest , saying he was nabbed for “illegal possession of forex.”

Chingwalu said Kapito was found holding US dollars and euros without “valid bank documents”.The amount was not disclosed.

He was taken to Lilongwe Police Station for interrogation.

Kapito was  due to leave for Switzerland  to present a paper on the human rights situation in Malawi. He applied for forex using Standard Bank and got the same.

At the breaking the news of this story, lawyer Wapona Kita told Nyasa Timesthat he was visiting Kapito at Police station to “get details” on the arrest.

Another lawyer, critic of President Mutharika, Ralph Kasambara, said the Police are “deliberately hiding Kapito.”

He said the lawyers that are attending to the matter are Titus Mvalo, Ian Malaera, Grace Malera (the Executive Director of Malawi Human Rights Commission), Wapona Kita among others

Kapito: Arrested

Kapito, a fierce critic of the regime, has been receiving threats from ruling DPP cadets .

He has however refused to cower to their bullish tactics and is determined to fight autocracy to the very end.

“I will fight for human rights and good governance until they take me to the graveyard and that I will never go anywhere,” he is on record saying.

“ I will die here in Malawi and if I go early because they so wish they will find me at the graveyard and we will also face the same Lord and I ask them, I beg them to completely leave my family alone.”

Kapito often accuses the Mutharika administration of lacking respect for basic human rights, rule of law and governance practices.

Mutharika has in the past accused Kapito of wanting to unseat him.

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