Malawi President Peter Mutharika was widely criticised on Wednesday when he led Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) supporters in the capital Lilongwe in “celebrating” two years since he was freed on treason charges and went to his jail cell and did a graffiti when he scribbled his name n the wall that he stayed there.
The visit drew widespread criticism amongst Malawians who took their anger to social media platforms to accuse the President of using the tvisit to pirison for political gain.
One of the human rights activist Billy Mayaya who has largely been soft with the DPP regime took it to Facebook to trash the visit.
“ The idea of commemorating the arrest of Peter Mutharika stinks!” Mayaya posted.
He wrote: “ If you were planning to irritate Malawians once more you have! I can’t believe the government would sink so low! The beginning of the end!! “
Also commenting was Sanga Mwamlima who stated that President Mutharika “should try a better stunt.”
He wrote: “Peter please bring one project that will define your legacy. Pay the civil servants in time.”
Institute for Policy Interaction (IPI) executive director Rafiq Hajat said: “It is very disappointing and inconsistent for the President, who is a professor of law and who can interpret the Malawi Constitution much better than most of us, to have been part of the elaborate celebrations.”
In 2013, Mutharika was arrested together with six other DPP members Jean Kalirani, Kondwani Nankhumwa, Patricia Kaliati, Goodall Gondwe, Nicholas Dausi, Simon Vuwa Kaunda and Bright Msaka. They were charged with treason. The charges were later dropped when he became President.
The cell where Mutharika was sleeping during his arrest has been painted blue and the corner he slept has been dubbed “Freedom Corner”.
“I was arrested alongside my good friends, Goodall Gondwe, Henry Musa, Bright Msaka among others and we spent three days in jail. While here, the then Inspector General of Police Loti Dzonzi received a directive form the former President that I needed medical attention that doctors have been assigned for that which was a blue lie.
“Three fake doctors arrived here (at the Lumbadzi Prison) and before they could enter the prison they were detained by the DPP supporters who demanded their identities and explanation of their motives.”
He added, “When our party supporters asked if I were sick I said no, this, angered them to the extent that they started chasing the so called doctors and beat them up.”
The President said he did not know the reasons behind his detention as well as the doctors who were sent for him.
“I have assigned an affidavit with the Inspector General of Police I will produce it at an appropriate time,” Mutharika said in brief as he promised to disclose more at a rally he had later in the day.
The President donated blankets, 15 chairs and 8 solar lamps among other items to Lumbadzi police station.
Mutharika lamented at his inauguration last year that he faced persecution under the previous regime when he alongside former Cabinet ministers in the Bingu wa Mutharika administration were charged with treason.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :