People’s Party leaders set free in Zomba

Police have set free  10 opposition People’s Party (PP) leaders, who were locked up in Zomba on Monday, January 16, 2012, last week.

PP Secretary General  Henry Chibwana confirmed to Nyasa Times on Thursday that the leaders were indeed released but said he did not have exact details about the circumstances that led to their release.

“I am not sure whether they have been released on some conditions or unconditionally. But I have heard that they are out of police custody and that is excellent news,”  Chibwana said.

Chibwana: PP Secretary general

But a police source in Zomba said the PP leaders were released unconditionally.
Wapona Kita of Ralph & Arnolds who initially was the legal counsel for the arrested leaders described the development as “good news”.
“But I had given the case to Zomba lawyers to deal with it so it would be appropriate for them to comment. Get in touch with Bright Theu,” he said.
Theu was not immediately available for comment.

The 10 were arrested after they had been escorting the remains of the People’s Party District Governor for Zomba, a Mr. Chilewe against attempts by the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) parliamentarian for Zomba Chisi, Peter Mangulenje, to stop them from mourning ‘one of them’.

Prominent among the arrested included PP’s National Director of Youth Lawrence Mpofu and PP National Executive Committee (NEC) Peter Valani, who is also a lecturer at the Polytechnic.

People’s Party is led by State Vice President Joyce Banda who has recently been heavily critical of the state of misrule that Malawi has drifted into under the leadership of President Bingu wa Mutharika.

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