Malawi anti-government protesters to spend one more night in custody


Human rights activist Joshua Chisa Mbele and fellow activists will spend one more night police custody following their arrest on Friday over demonstrations they organised in Lilongwe against President Lazarus Chakwera’s government.

The six activists appeared before Lilongwe Chief Resident Magistrate’s court today where they applied for bail.

Chief Resident Magistrate Madalitso Khoswe Chimwaza has reserved her ruling on the bail application to tomorrow at 9am.

On Friday during the anti-government protests, Police arrested over 30 protesters after the protesters had insisted on marching to State House instead of presenting their petition to the office of the District Commissioner (DC).

However, six protesters appeared before the court today. They are Mbele, Levi Luwemba, Selemani Moffat, Mustafa Kalilombe, Kennedy Luwemba and one identified as Davie.

The state has charged them with contravening a written notice by the district commissioner in relation to the demonstrations. According to the state, the six failed to comply with a written notice from the DC not to proceed with the demos to State house.

The activists have also been charged with inciting violence as the state alleges that the six told the people that assembled at the demonstrations to physically attack shop owners and other individuals that were not taking part in the demos.

Since the accused have pleaded not guilty to the two charges, the state said it will on later parade seven witnesses to testify against them.

Later, the defense lawyers applied for the bail to which the state did not object but asked Chief Resident Magistrate Madalitso Khoswe Chimwaza that Mbele should not be allowed to be posting anything related to the matter on social media if granted bail.

The accused persons will spend another night under police custody as Chimwaza is expected to deliver his bail ruling tomorrow (Tuesday) in the morning.

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