Police release Chiza Mkandawire, no charges: Updated

Malawi police on Tuesday detained for questioning a student of political science at Huddersfield University and activist,  Ben Chiza Mkandawire and Hebrews Misomali,  lawyer Wapona Kita told Nyasa Times.

Kita said Police picked Chiza Mkandawire because they “thought  he was organising a protest with the vendors.”

Police fear Mkandawire was inciting vendors “to overthrow” the government of Bingu wa Mutharika.

Chiza Mkandawire; Picked by police

National police spokesman Davie Chingwalu said officers were “questioning” Chiza Mkandawire.

But the activist said he had  called for civic education on street sellers “ so they learn to respect our women” in the wake of a gang which stripped women their pants (trousers), miniskirts and leggings.

“That is not inciting them to depose the Mutharika government,” he said.

Lawyer Kita later informed in the afternoon that Mkandawire and Misomali were “out on police bail with no charges levelled against them.”

He said: “The police are saying they are still investigating the matter.”

Mkandawire openly calls the current government of Bingu wa Mutharika a dictatorship. He was  last year arrested in Lilongwe for holding a placard which called Mutharika a dictator.

He was released on bail but faces trial for sedition and holding a demonstration without written police permission with four others.

Mkandawire, who is also member of Malawi Diaspora Forum and Youth Association for Democracy in Malawi (YADEMA),  also promoted an Occupy Parliament movement vigils last year but it  was frustrated by the authorities.

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