After spending the weekend in the cooler, Nicholas Dausi Junior, son to Minister of Information and Communications Technology Nicholas Dausi, alongside his six colleagues were yesterday released unconditionally by Lilongwe Police.
While police have been mean with information leading to the arrest of the seven, Nation Online understands that they were picked on Friday night for allegedly causing a scene after they threatened worshipers with a gun.
The incident occurred in Lilongwe at Area 47’s Enlightened Christian Gathering Church belonging to South Africa-based Malawian prophet Shepherd Bushiri.
Lilongwe Police spokesperson Kingsley Dandaula, while confirming the arrest and release of the suspects, denied reports Dausi Jnr and his friends threatened the worshippers with a gun.
The police spokesperson also denied reports the seven were using a government vehicle, saying the incident followed a misunderstanding between the suspects and an undisclosed woman.
Dandaula said: “As police, we are not aware that they used a government vehicle and a gun. But what happened is that there was a misunderstanding between the woman and the suspects.”
Police said investigations were still underway and that the suspects were likely to be charged with conduct likely to cause breach of peace.
Dausi Jnr’s identity was revealed through his driving licence number 10160214012689 and a traffic registration card.
During the incident, the suspects were using a KIA vehicle registration number BU 5780 whose pictures have been circulating on social media.
Yesterday, some ECG members, who declined to give their names, said the suspects were chasing a woman from Mchinji roundabout direction as she was going to attend overnight prayers at the church but they were foiled when she shouted for help.
“I was in the church that day when I heard the woman shouting for help, but I did not realise what was going on outside. When church members intervened, they overpowered them [the suspects],” one of workers at the church told The Nation yesterday.
He alleged that church members found a gun in the vehicle which the three were using.
Efforts to talk to ECG officials proved futile as they all refused to talk to The Nation with Bushiri’s spokesperson Ephraim Nyondo referring us to the police.
But in a brief interview, Dausi feigned ignorance of the incident saying he had been away to his home village.
However, he confirmed having a son by the name Nicholas Dausi Jnr and a vehicle which he said was provided to him by Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra).
“Yes I have that son,” confirmed Dausi but when further interrogated about the vehicle, he said: “Let me find out… But I have a vehicle at my residence belonging to Macra.”
Efforts to talk to Macra director general Godfrey Itaye proved futile as his phone was not reachable while communications manager Clara Mwafulirwa asked for more time to cross-check with administration section. But when called later, she did not pick our calls.
However, commenting on the development, University of Malawi’s political scientist Ernest Thindwa wondered why the minister was provided a Macra vehicle when he has official vehicles from government.
He observed that abuse of public resources would not end unless authorities start appointing professionals who can challenge such abuses and not political loyalists.
“Those we put in authority are not keen in respecting public office ethics. That is why public resources can be misused at will. Why should a minister be allocated a vehicle by Macra when he is already allocated official vehicles by government?” Thindwa said.