Inspector General of Malawi Police Service, Lexten Kachama has told a news conference that there is no evidence to press treason charges against three Malawi Congress Party (MCP) officials, contradicting police spokesman Nicholas Gondwa.
Police arrested MCP executive member Ulemu Msungama on Sunday, publicity secretary Jessie Kabwila on Monday and party legal director Peter Chakhwantha on Tuesday over a WhatsApp chat that purportedly talks about how President Peter Mutharika could be toppled.
Gondwa said the three were given sedition as “holding charges” and then pressed with treason after recording their statements as formal charges.
He said sedition and treason charges are “ interrelated.”
However, addressing a news conference in Lilongwe on Wednesday, Police IG said the cops have not formally charged the three because there is no evidence for treason and that they were only taken “caution statements”.
Kachama, however, said the Police received a tip from well meaning citizen that a group of people were discussing and planning to over throw the government of Mutharika.
“The Police then started investigating the matter, in the process of which an opinion was formed that the evidence pointed to an offence of treason and warrants of arrests of the suspects were obtained from the court,” said Kachama.
He stressed that the police are still investigating to establish if the suspects have a case to answer.
The Police boss said the three MCP members were on picked for questioning about their involvement in the coup threat, not charged and released on bail.