Treason suspect Vuwa Kaunda rearrested while flying out of Malawi

One of Malawi’s treason suspects Symon Vuwa Kaunda has been rearrested in the capital Lilongwe as he tried to board a flight heading for Europe.

National Police Headquarters spokesperson Rhoda Manjolo confirmed the arrest of Kaunda, a former government spokesperson and minister of information and civic education as well as of sports and youth development.

She said Vuwa Kaunda was currently being held at Lumbadzi Police in Lilongwe, where he spent three nights before his release three days ago.

“The suspect was arrested at Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe for flouting his bail condition,” Manjolo said.

Vuwa Kaunda: No escape from ;Nyasa'
Vuwa Kaunda: No escape from ‘Nyasaland’

Kaunda was nabbed while travelling to Brussels in Belgium to reportedly attend a meeting of parliamentarians and is yet to be charged.

Police sources say he forged a clearance document from High Court.

The former senior government minister was one of the 11 high profile opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) politicians and serving government officials arrested last Monday on treason charges.

They were allegedly conspiring to block President Joyce Banda, then vice president, from taking over power, as required by the constitution, after the unexpected death of former President Bingu wa Mutharika.

Last Thursday, High Court Judge Ivy Kamanga released on bail the 11 accused on condition that they provide two non-cash sureties bonded at K7 million each (about $18,000), pay cash bond of K250 000 each (about $640), surrender their travel documents and report to police commissioner in their area of residence every Friday of the fortnight.

According to confirmed information, Kaunda was given consent by Judge Kamanga to travel to Belgium but Manjolo said he was rearrested for failure to notify the police commissioner about his leaving.

Meanwhile, the state has not yet set a date for the 11 to take plea in court.

The accused are DPP acting President Prof Peter Mutharika, and former cabinet ministers; Kaunda, Patricia Kaliati, Kondwani Nankhumwa, Nicholas Dausi, Henry Mussa and Dr Jean Kalilani.

Others include Goodal Gondwe, who was serving as Economic Planning and Development Minister until his resignation last Friday due to his arrest, former guard commander, Duncan Mwapasa, fired Chief Secretary to the Government and Cabinet, Bright Msaka and his deputy Necton Mhura.

Following the arrests of the 11 in a series of raids on Monday morning, tens of hundreds of DPP supporters staged violent protests in Blantyre and Lilongwe where they smashed vehicles, chanted anti-government and Joyce Banda songs and assaulted police officers before they retaliated through firing of teargas canisters.

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