Hundreds of people took to the streets in the Malawi capital, Lilongwe, on Wednesday demanding the release of the leading opposition presidential aspirant Atupele Muluzi.
Scores of party supporters and human rights defenders had earlier started a vigil at the Maula prison demanding for his release. The youthful politician is now hospitalized at City Centre Clinic in Lilongwe after.
Nyasa Times correspondent on the scene said protesters were engaged in running battles with the police and the security force shot one man and rounded several by beating them.
The protests spread quickly and attracted the attention of many who also joined in.
“We are fed and fed up with this government. We need change”, shouted a woman who was taking part in the demonstrations.
Atupele’s lawyer Kalekeni Kaphale said the police objected to the bail application on the basis that investigations are still underway.
“The police are acting very strange. They did not allow me to be with my client when they were interviewing him. I advised my client to remain silent,” Kaphale said.
With the collapse of the judicial system following the national strike of court workers and judges, it means Atupele has only the police to seek bail or rot in prison.
Meanwhile, Muluzi’s family has described the arrest of Atupele as a political vendetta targeting at the family and a continued persecution of the former President’s family.
Bakili Muluzi, who is currently in South Africa for medical treatment, has warned government not to harm his son.