Chakwera to march to State House over activists’ arrest

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) President Lazarus Chakwera has threatened to mobilise Malawians to march to State House if the Malawi Police do not release arrested activists.

In a statement released today, Chakwera said President Peter Mutharika should release the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) member MacDonald Sembereka and vice chairperson Gift Trapence who were arrested on Sunday.

“Should he fail to do so within 48 hours, I will personally galvanize all peace-loving and law-abiding Malawians to march on the State House of which he is a temporary tenant and camp there until these innocent activists are released,” he said.

The MCP leader noted that since the Constitutional Court nullified the 2019 presidential elections, Mutharika’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has conducted five protests across the country.

“The police have not arrested his supporters for protesting, because those supporters are Malawians and have a constitutional right to protest, yet he orders police to arrest opposition supporters for exercising the same right,” said Chakwera.

He added that on February 27th, Democratic Progressive Party supporters marched through the streets of Lilongwe all the way to Kamuzu Palace to express dissatisfaction with the Constitutional Court ruling but they were not stopped by the Police.

“Yet he (Mutharika) threatens supporters of other parties not to dare do the same and orders the police to arrest activists for wanting to exercise the same right.

“This is selective and partisan application of rights is unacceptable,” said Chakwera.

Trapence and Sembereka were arrested on Sunday for planning to hold demonstrations at State House. Meanwhile, the police are looking for HRDC leader Timothy Mtambo who is in hiding.

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