The UTM Party and the leader of opposition Kondwani Nankhumwa, have condemned the abduction of human rights activist Sylvester Namiwa.
Namiwa was abducted on Wednesday by unknown thugs believed to be government agents as he is expected to lead countrywide demonstrations on Thursday against government impunity. Protesters will also demand removal of presidential immunity against prosecution.
Reacting to the development, Nankhumwa said he has learnt with deep shock that Namiwa who is the Executive Director for the Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiative (CDEDI), has been abducted in Lilongwe.
Nankhumwa believes that the development is due to CDEDI’s role in bringing to light a culture of theft and wanton abuse of allowances by some senior government officials in the country.
He however said Malawi is a multiparty democracy, which among other things upholds the values of freedom of speech and conscience, and he will hold government accountable if something bad happens to the activist.
“Although it is very easy to connect the dots as to who is not comfortable with Mr Namiwa, I do not want to believe that our democracy has retrogressed to the level where government is sending agents to abduct its critics.
“As Leader of Opposition in Parliament, I am calling upon the Police to quickly institute investigations to arrest and bring to book the abductors. I am also monitoring the situation closely and should anything bad happen to Mr Namiwa, I will hold the government responsible,” said Nankhumwa.
Concurrently, UTM through its spokesperson Frank Mwenifumbo, has demanded an immediate and unconditional release of Namiwa from those involved in the beating and abduction.
“We respect every citizens right to demonstrate as provided for in the constitution of our Republic for as long as they are peaceful. This is what our had won democracy entails,” said Mwenifumbo.
He further says he UTM finds comfort from the assurances of Malawi law enforcers that there shall be no stone untouched to rescue activist Namiwa.
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