Leader of opposition and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Vice-President for the Southern Region, Kondwani Nankhumwa on Saturday morning paid a surprise visit to DPP ward councilor for Bangwe-M’thandizi Isaac Jomo Osman at Limbe Police Cell in Blantyre.
Nankhumwa, further, drove to Chikwawa to visit another DPP sympathizer Gerald Viola who has been arrested for pawning government on a loan shark.
Osman, who is also owner for Super League side Ntopwa Football Club, was arrested on Friday evening the southern region police for assault and breach of peace.
According to Police Spokesperson for the region, Ramsey Nhlane, the suspect Osman will appear in court soon to be formally charged.
No statement has been recorded from him yet but according to Nankhumwa, the police have verbally accused Jomo Osman of assaulting gospel musician and politician, Allan Ngumuya in 2017.
Ngumuya is on record to have ‘forgiven’ Jomo and never reported the matter to police.
The arrest came barely days after the court granted him bail for theft and malicious damage accounts.
Osman and Viola are expected to appear in court on Monday to be formally charged.
It is unlikely that they would be released on police bail before Monday because of “orders from above”, according to unidentified officers at the two stations.
Viola, who stood on the DPP ticket in the May 2019 parliamentary elections in Chikwawa South was arrested at midnight and detained at Ngabu Police Station, before being transferred to Chikwawa Police Station, amidst protests by sympathisers.
No statement has been recorded from him yet but he informed Nankhumwa that his arrest was in connection with a government vehicle that he was allegedly still keeping months after he resigned from the Office of President and Cabinet (OPC).
DPP officials have complained that the new administration under the leadership of Lazarus Chakwera is planning to arrest senior members of the party and claimed it is political persecution aimed at killing the party which is now in opposition.
In a brief interview in Chikwawa, Nankhumwa told reporters that the charges being mentioned sound “flimsy”.
“As DPP, we do not condone criminality and that anyone who breaks the law must face the law. However, we are against politically-motivated arrests; political witch-hunting and persecution. I expected the new President Reverend Dr. (Lazarus) Chakwera to be a unifying figure, especially this time that the nation is just smarting from political unrest and an election where people voted on regional and tribal lines,” he said.
Nankhumwa said as Leader of Opposition in Malawi and DPP VP South, he strongly condemns the political persecution campaign that the new MCP government seems to have waged against former governing DPP officials and members.
“Such arbitrary arrests are an affront to core democratic values that Malawians gallantly fought for in 1993 and 1994. My strong appeal goes to the President, Reverend Chakwera and his government to release immediately and unconditionally Jomo Osman and Gerald Viola.
“Instead of arresting DPP members, President Chakwera should be seriously working towards improving the social and economic status of Malawians, especially in the light of many challenges brought about by the global Covid-19 pandemic,” said Nankhumwa.
Some DPP members have been arrested since Chakwera came into power, but police have defended the arrests, saying those arrested had criminal cases.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :