Court orders Malawi Police to transfer activists’ case to Lilongwe

Timothy Mtambo and Gift Trapence, HRDC Leaders

The High Court in Lilongwe has ordered the Malawi Police to transfer the case of the arrested Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) members to Lilongwe.

Activists McDonald Sembereka and Gift Trapence were arrested in Lilongwe on Sunday night and transferred to Blantyre where they have applied for bail at the magistrate’s court.

HRDC chairperson Timothy Mtambo was also expected to surrender himself to police today after the law enforcers issued a warrant of arrest against him on Monday.

Following an application by lawyers for the three, the High Court in Lilongwe has told the Acting Inspector General of Police to return Sembereka and Trapence to Lilongwe where they will be dealt with in accordance with the law.

The High Court has also ordered the police not to take Mtambo to Blantyre or anywhere outside Lilongwe when he hands himself to the law enforcers.

The Court has warned the Acting Inspector General that he will found guilty of contempt of court if the he disobeys the order.

On Monday, Police said they had obtained arrest warrants for Trapence, Sembereka and Mtambo. According to the police, the three broke the law by threatening to shut down State House and by inciting other people to join them in marching to the State Hours.