UTM Party director of youth Bon Kalindo denies accusation of insulting President Peter Mutharika and was released on bail on Monday by Eastern Region chief resident magistrate Mzondi Mvula after spending a weekend in custody.
Kalindo, the Mulanje South legislator, has been given bail conditions with a bond of K20 000 and two surities bonded with non-cash of K100 000 each. One of his surities included his twin brother Phillip Kalindo.
Among the conditions, Kalindo has been ordered to be reporting to police in Blantyre and infirm law enforcers if he wants to leave the country.
He was arrested last Thursday and charged with disorderly conduct contrary to Section 153 (1) of the Police Act as well as insulting the President contrary to Section 4 of the Protected Flags, Emblems and Names Act.
The court in Zomba, through Eastern Region police prosecution officer Christopher Katani, heard that on January 6 2019 Kalindo invaded Balaka Police Station to force the men in uniform release two UTM Party members who were arrested for misdemeanor at the launch of Chiwanja cha Ayao in the district.
Katani said that Kalindo was arrested for insulting President Muthrika as he prodded the police to release his felow party members.
The court premises were heavily manned by armed police although at a distant UTM supporters danced and sang in support of Kalindo.
Civil society activists have been calling for a review of laws that protect the name and the person of the president, saying they run counter to freedom of expression which is guaranteed under the Constitution.