Release HRDC leaders now! – UTM

The United Transformation Movement (UTM) has demanded the release of Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) members who were arrested last night.

Police nabbed the organisation’s vice chairperson Gift Trapence and member Reverend McDonald Sembereka, in relation to their planned demonstration at the State House on 25th March.

UTM has released a poster captioned “release HRDC now, Malawi is not a police state”.

The poster bears the faces of  Trapence, Sembereka and the grouping’s chairperson Timothy Mtambo who is also wanted by the police.

In a statement, UTM spokesperson Joseph Chidanti Malunga said the arrest of the two is a response to threats and orders issued by President Peter Mutharika and other speakers at the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) rally held on Sunday.

“The nation should be worried when politicians abuse their privileged positions to use state organs in fighting their opponents,” he said.

Malunga added that the Malawi Police Service has stopped serving the public and is now at the beck and call of ruling party politicians.

He then condemned the DPP and Malawi Police for the acts of impunity. He also called for the immediate release of the activists.

On social media, some Malawians expressed support for the call.

“HRDC has done nothing wrong to deserve such an action. What is this country turning into?” Asks Malumbo Gondwe.

Another social media user Tadala Mkwaila wrote: “Shame! Shame! Malawi’s democracy. I can smell those dark days.”

Meanwhile, HRDC members are planning a nationwide demonstration against the arrest of their colleagues.

In Rumphi, the demonstration plan has reached a mature stage as people will take to the streets tomorrow.

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One Comment

  1. Malawi is a democratic state, and nobody has the right to infringe on the rights of others. Section 16(a) of the constitution of the republic of Malawi stipulates that every citizen has the right to life. And on this note, it’s a criminal offence punishable by Law to issue death threats to a fellow compatriot. Malawi does not belong to a particular tribe but to every citizen who live in it. Almighty Pharaoh, no matter how cruel you can be, you won’t rule for ever. Malawians are tired of your corrupt and tribalistic leadership. Malawians in the central region don’t like you. The northern region is a ‘no go zone’ for DPP because you committed education genocide in that region by denying the intelligent students access to higher education for more than a decade. You took the people in north Malawi for fools by denying them service delivery. My fellow Malawians, we all know that MCP had committed genocide for 31 years when they were in power but let’s forgive and support Chakwera and Chilima’s alliance, and vote for them on 19 May, 2020. Viva!! Chakwera and Chilima Viva!!. Lastly, the arrested HRDC must be released forthwith because they did not march to the state house on 25 March, 2020 so, they did not commit any crime. They were exercising their constitutional right as they have freedom of expression, and freedom to hold demonstrations anywhere in Malawi as long as the Law allows them to do so.

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