Malawi Police on Sunday arrested opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) member Ulemu Msungama for treason allegations after he allegedly insinuated that there should be a regime change through a discussion on a WhatsApp group of party members.
Msungama, who’s challenging results of Lilongwe City North East election allegedly made the remarks in a leaked WhatsApp group chat
He wrote: “As MCP we were supposed to take advantage of all this mess and play it from the background.”
Police arrested Msungama Sunday morning and interrogated him on the WhatsApp messages,
“Yes I have been arrested and they are taking me to a Lumbadzi Police holding cell,” Msungama told Nyasa Times.
“They are accusing me of treason,” he added.
Police spokesman Nelson Gondwa said he it was “premature” to comment on the matter.
However, Police sources say there are more impending arrests over WhatsApp messages with MCP spokeswoman Jessie Kabwila, lawmaker Paul Chakwantha amongst the suspects.
Police say the MCP members were planning to “organise, strategise and implement the removal of the constitutional government of Malawi … the Egyptian way”.
They say the MCP members discussed how to conduct an insurrection similar to Egyptian revolt that brought down Hosni Mubarak after nearly three decades in power.
Police alleged that the WhatsApp participants took turns calling for a revolt against President Peter Mutharika.
MCP Deputy Secretary General Eisenhower Mkaka confirmed the arrest of Msungama and said the party is aware of a crackdown on its members ahead of parliament which sits from Monday.
“No one would deny they want a better Malawi,” Mkaka said.
He said it’s a big leap to say MCP members discussing about Malawi woes they’re planning to make a serious threat against anyone.
“The whole thing is ridiculous.”
Mkaka said the arrests are clearly being driven by a political agenda to “instil fear in people.”
MCP called the arrest on treason as “outrageous charges.”
“Arresting people for WhatsApp discussion is against freedom of expression.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :