U.S. citizen arrested for insulting President Mutharika gets bail: UTM members celebrate ‘Abiti Manice’ release

Lilongwe Magistrate Court on Wednesday ordered that Manes Winnie Hale – known on Facebook as Abiti Manice Dawood – who was arrested by Police  at Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe Tuesday morning on accusation of insulting President Peter Mutharika should  be granted bail.

Manice Hale released on bail after spending a night in police custody

Abiti Manice (left) with UTM secretary general Patricia Kaliati eating at the police station

Manice Hale in the dock for bail hearing

UTM supporters celebrate Manice bail

Malawi Police arrested Hale  as she was about to catch a flight back to the US where she is based after being spotted attending some rallies by Vice-President Saulos Chilima-led United Transformation Movement (UTM).

After spending  a night at Lumbadzi Police Station, Hake, 44 from Kambika Village T/A Kwataine Nctheu, who is a naturalised American citizen from Pevell Maryland and a practising nurse,  has been charged of insulting the President contrary to Section 4 of the Penal Code – a ‘draconian’ law which  has been branded by human rights defenders as  archaic and inconsistent with the Constitution of Malawi.

She has claimed to be related to President Peter Mutharika whom she called ‘Uncle P’, saying her mother was a sister to the late first lady Ethel, who was the late president Bingu wa Mutharika’s first wife.

The arrest comes within days of President Mutharika publicly stating that Section 4 of the Protected Flag, Emblems and Names Act could be used to prosecute those he accused of insulting him.

She was granted bail on conditions to surrender her travel documents to Police and pay  K100 000 bail bond cash.

The court also ordered her to start reporting to Police Headquarters every Friday.

Hearing of the case has bene set for September 6 2018.

Hale’s release by court sparked jubilant celebrations by UTM supporters at the court  as the group pressed to see Hale and demanded her freedom.

Many commentators said the arrest of ‘Abiti Manice’showed that Malawian authorities had contempt for freedom of expression.

The state’s case centers on a Facebook posts she has been writing critical of the Mutharika administration including slurs.

Social –political commentator Idriss Ali Nassah who is a fierce critic  of government said  when a president arrests and threatens violence on people for saying things about him that he doesn’t like is dangerous to the lifeblood of democracy.

“Mutharika must then be prepared to arrest many more, because nobody is going to stop saying that he is too clueless, too old, too out-of-touch, too corrupt, too much of a K145 million thief, too tribalistic…to be trusted with leading Malawi again.

“The response to the targeted harassment of Manice Abiti William Dawood cannot be silence, or fear. In fact, Manice must wear this arrest with pride. It is a badge of honour. The optics are in her favour, too: she is the strong, fearless fighter arrested for speaking truth to power. ,” wrote Nassar.

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C Banda
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C Banda

It has been said that this lady has dual citizenship of both Malawi and the US. Even with citizenship of the latter, that country may not be able to help her to any great extent with her current issue, as acknowledged by the State Department at its website. “Dual nationals owe allegiance to both the United States and the foreign country. They are required to obey the laws of both countries, and either country has the right to enforce its laws. It is important to note the problems attendant to dual nationality. Claims of other countries upon U.S. dual-nationals often… Read more »

Ntengo wa Kesia
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Ntengo wa Kesia

@ C Banda:
Does Malawi accord dual citizenship at all?
Let’s research this, shall we?

SIMASANJE
Guest
SIMASANJE

The woman has been shot into stardom she was unknown material a big name in the cyber circles Abiti Manice is big girl feared by the DPP government whenever she coughs the government sneezes terribly what a choleric government her departure could have been a quiet event our image has been battered over petty grudges UTM has gained political mileage through mishandling a very minute figure

SAMBWADZA
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SAMBWADZA

This woman has duo citizenship. The recent revocation of Miguna Miguna’s Kenyan citizenship applies to this lady. Just deport her to her home country it will be good riddance. Miguna Miguna is now in Canada. The DPP in the eyes of Malawians is a murderous party the recent events in Mangchi holds them true to their evil practice that’s the torching of UTM vehicles. Why not arrest the front liners in the name of Pattie Kaliati Callista Mutharika this arrest is a miscalculation on part of the DPP

Lilian Kaunda
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Lilian Kaunda

Americans are nuts that is why they bleed terrorist who end up hitting them. I dont think a Malawians will last a day in America if they say bad things about Trump and worse still these people allow people who steal from Malawi to buy houses there and send their kids to America using stolen money.

Duli
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Duli

Azimayi akumwa madzi ometera ndevu awa.

chataika
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chataika

Kodi the CSOs are they not thieves? Why did donors stop sponsoring them for voter registration awareness campaign? Donors clearly said they could will not release funds unless csos account for the money they recieved in 2014 tripartite elections. So inu PAC muti ziri bwino including Chilima. does not describe that as umbava. Koma its true mbava siziwonanadi. kkkkkkk Democracy does not mean kuti tidzinyozana ayi but lets express our views constructively for the betterment of Malawi. What u shud know is whether u say APM is old, cruel, corrupt, u name it that does not mean he will have… Read more »

QueenB
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QueenB

Hehehe! Mantha DPP. Starting politics of oppression. It won’t work. Why would he be president if he has thin skin and can’t take criticism? Gone are the days of dictatorship in Malawi. Paulendo next year!

pathfinder
Guest
pathfinder

HURE iwe queenB, its not the critics he can not take but insuts. Check this out, bumbu losatsuka lamaukalo, nanyongo wako pamtumbo pako, chimimba chachikulu ngati mayi wapathupi kkkkkkkkk, bwanji pamenepo?

Kanyimbi
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Kanyimbi

Ndipemphe mwaulemu kwa Bwana APM kuti achite machawi atitsegulire Mikuyu Prison chifukwa kutsutsa mediocrity mukuchitayi sitisiya kuitsutsa kwamtuwagalu.. Section 4 mpaka yamanga nzika ya USA ife sitisiya kulankhula ngati boma lanu likutetedza umbanda, tsankho, kupatsana ma business kudzera kumtundu, makhoti nkumatetedzanso akubawa pamodzi ndi ACB. A Ma CSO ndi a PAC mukonzetu zinthuzi bwino bwino kuti tikadzatuluka pa 7 Sept tisadzabwererenso kunyumba Eygypt Style, mpaka atatula u President wathuwu chifukwa akuona ngati ufumu wakwao.

SONG OF THE DRUNKARD
Guest
SONG OF THE DRUNKARD

YOU CAN FOOL PEOPLE SOMETIMES BUT NOT ALWAYS
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH !!

Noxy
Guest

Basi kungochoka ku America nkumazanyoza President kuno akagwele uko.

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