Police in Mzuzu yesterday arrested four people in connection with the violence that threatened to disrupt a solidarity rally organised by three opposition parties at Chibavi Primary School ground on Sunday.
Mzuzu Police Station spokesperson Martin Bwanali identified the suspects as George Mwamtobe, 38, from Mwangukulu Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Kilipula in Karonga; Lumbani Munthali, 29, from Matupi Village, T/A Chikulamayembe, Rumphi; Clive Nthakomwa, 52, of Malema Village, T/A Kyungu in Karonga; and, Frank Simwaka Kashololo, 30, from Kashololo Village, T/A Mwenewenya in Chitipa.
Nthakomwa was also identified as People’s Party (PP) acting provincial secretary in the North.
Northern Region Police spokesperson Maurice Chapola said the suspects face the charge of propagating violence contrary to Section 87 of the Penal Code.
The arrests come barely two days after Malawi Congress Party (MCP), PP and Alliance for Democracy (Aford) accused police of not providing security at their meeting despite being alerted about it.
On Monday, Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) and Livingstonia Synod of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) joined calls for the police to investigate the violence and bring perpetrators to book.
Bwanali said investigations were underway and more suspects could be arrested.
Police came under fire failing to provide security at the rally which turned into a battlefield when unidentified panga-wielding individuals caused mayhem by hacking three people and damaging some vehicles.
Uniformed police officers came at the scene after the function, a development that led the youth from the three parties to protest their coming, hence forcing them to leave.
MCP president Lazarus Chakwera jointly addressed what was called a solidarity rally with PP third vice-president Kamlepo Kalua and Aford president Enock Chihana.