Zikhale Ng’oma makes U-turn on Ichocho licence revocation, call for disciplinary hearing 

Minister of Homeland Security, Ken Zikhale Ng’oma, who made unilateral decision to revoke licence for Ichocho Power Security last week, has backtracked and has since asked owner of the company, Yassin Suwedi to a disciplinary hearing scheduled for Tuesday, May 2.

A letter from the Ministry’s Principal Secretary, Dr Steve Kayuni — former Director of Public Prosecutions — dated April 30, asks Suwedi to appear at the disciplinary hearing by 10:00hrs.

This follows a petition made by Forum for National Development (FND) that asked Zikhale Ng’oma to reverse his decision of revoking the license, saying it is “unfair to say the least and pushes a section of our own people into poverty”.

In a statement signed by national coordinator, Fryson Chodzi described the Minister’s decision as “impromptu and impassive based on a publicity stunt video made by the company, saying FND considered it “overreaching and disregarding the tenets of democracy of which person nor company must be punished before given the right to be heard”.

FND further said the Minister’s action — instead of being restorative — was punitive not only at the owner of Ichocho Power, but the entire employees of the company and their families.

“As an institution fighting for the right to development of the people of Malawi, we feel duty bound to raise this matter as it affects hundreds of Malawian lives whose livelihood has been taken away by your action,” said the petition.

“We would want to understand which laws were used to revoke the said license. Would you further clarify how the public and Malawi Government got injured from the publicity stunt done by Ichocho?

“May you justify how the said video is a threat to the country’s security since that is the reason you have advanced in revoking the company’s license.

“At what point was the national security of the country affected by the video stunt? If anything, we are of the opinion that it should have been Mr. Jai Banda or Mr. Tonderai Banda, who should have complained of being injured by the said publicity stunt.

“The moment Mr. Tonderai Banda clarified that the video was a publicity stunt, that should have been the closure of the matter. We believe that as a Minister, you must act with level headedness and not act out of emotions as is the case.

“You should have given Ichocho Power Security Company the right to be heard and make a decision based on official findings out of an inquiry of the whole matter than social media out cries.”

Ichocho circulated a video publicity stunt on social media, which indicated that the security company had kidnapped Tonderai Banda — son to the country’s renowned entertainment organiser, Jai Banda — that was demanding the lawyer to ask government to include the firm as a national security agency for his son to be set free.

In the video, director of the security company, Yassin Suwedi — popularly known as Ichocho for his muscular body as he is a passionate weightlifter — was deemed to have made terroristic speech and according to the police was charged for causing panic to the public.

In an interview with Malawi News Agency (MANA) on Tuesday, the Minister indicated that Suwedi breached matters of national security — hence the revocation of his security company’s license.

He was quoted as saying: “It is illegal to dramatise something that is involving national security in a country without any clearance either from police or from the Ministry of Homeland Security and what happened in Blantyre was illegal because it brought fear to many people,” the Minister had said.

“Nowadays, there are so many insurgents all over the world and with the recent video we all thought Malawi had one, only to be told it was drama which is not on as we do not play around with security.

“We are the ones who give licenses and we are also the ones who revoke licenses and I have instructed my officers to revoke the license of the security company which was involved as they know our rules.”

However, Suwedi and Tonderai Banda issued an apology in a video soon after they were interviewed by the police, saying that what they did was just for a show to spice up the FCB Nyasa Big Bullets street bash, which Jai Banda’s Entertainers Promotion organised in partnership with First Capital Bank (FCB).

The event, that attracted hundreds of people that included FCB Chief Executive Officer, Spyridon Georgopoulos alongside Bullets president Konrad Buckle and FCB founder Hitesh Anadkat, was to celebrate the landmark sponsorship with the People’s Team as well as launch a newly-introduced digital product named ‘Think First’ campaign.

Ichocho Power Security was contracted to provide security at the bash that started from 10:00hrs-23:00hrs.

According to Ndirande Police what Ichocho did is publication of false news likely to cause fear and alarm to the public c/sec 60 of Penal Code” and while this was false, it still caused fear and alarm to the public.

The police interviewed both Ichocho and Tonderai Banda, who confessed that this was all done as a stunt to market the bash, but the police and Homeland Affairs Minister would have none of it.

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Big boss
Big boss
1 year ago

We are in a third world country where advertisment is just a took that is learned without basis and we disregard concept of marketing the product, what ichocho did was an advert with proper concept, why punish someone for a good concept like that one, at least no one was hurt, remember there is nothing like bad publicity

1 year ago

Zikhale is epileptic.

1 year ago

Koma nthawi zina azikhala serious akamapanga ma video clip kunena kuti apanga kidnap mwana wa nduna ndi chiwophezo kwa anthu ena kunena zowona

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