UN issue security alert as Atupele’s arrest heightens tension

United Nations (UN) mission in Malawi’s capital Lilongwe issues an alert of “possible problems” following the detention of Atupele Muluzi, presidential aspirant for the United Democratic Front (UDF).

There was a scuffle at Lilongwe police station after police tried to forcefully chase away relatives of suspects who brought food.

When time for lunch clocked, the humble relations descended at the stations as usual but were amazed to see some police officers beating them out of the station.

Atupele Muluzi: Presidential aspirant

Concerned with the status of the suspects in cells, some of the relations refused to leave the area which resulted into some exchange of bitter words.

“We cannot allow our relatives who are not yet convicts to be in that cell hungry. How much punishment should they suffer before even they are brought before the courts?

“Some have already contacted diseases due to congestion, now they want to starve them. enough is enough, we will not leave without giving them food,” said one concerned relative.

When contacted, Lilongwe police station spokesperson Kingsly Dandaula said he had no knowledge of the scuffle and could not comment.

One of the police officers said they halted some other transactions because of the Atupele’s arrests fearing the UDF supporters reaction.

“UDF is a party with large followers and since there are a lot of people coming to see and bring food for their relatives, we feared that some might take it as a chance to cause commotion at the station,” said one of the officers .

Meanwhile, UN security advisor Lettice Myrice issued an alert to the staff after the arrest of Atupele.

“In view of this development, please advise all staff in your respective agencies to avoid Biwi, Mchesi, Areas 24 & 23, Likuni, Chinsapo, Old Town (Area 1), Area 25 and Lumbadzi in Lilongwe,” said the alert.

The alert said possible locations in Blantyre where people would react are: Limbe Area ( Bangwe and BCA Hill where the former president resides and also the father ), Limbe Highway (at UDF offices), Chichiri Shopping Mall, if ever people are going to march and petition, Chirimba road up to Chileka round about, Zingwangwa and Ndilande.

“This advisory will remain in effect for the next 24 hours,” said the UN security advisor.

“It should also be noted that the situation in Blantyre is calm but tense as people sympathetic to Mr. Muluzi have not yet come to terms with the arrest,” added Myrie.

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