Cecilia Kumpukwe, sister to Malawi’s former president, Joyce Banda, has been arrested in connection to a fake resignation letter allegedly written by Vice President Saulos Chilima, police sources and aides of the former president have confirmed.
Kumpukwe was arrested early today at her home in Chigumula, Blantyre.
She has reportedly been taken to National Police Headquarters in Area 30, Lilongwe, but was yet to be formally charged.
Speaking through her spokesperson, Andekuche Chanthunya, JB said the arrest is politically motivated.
“The police are accusing her of participation in forgery and false document. They say they are taking her to Area 30 in Lilongwe as part of the investigation. She has had no access to lawyers. The police had no arrest warrant but have arrested her nonetheless,” said Chanthunya.
She said the family had already communicated the ordeal to the former president, whom Chanthunya said, has described her sister’s arrest as part of witch-hunt and harassment against her family.
The former president is also reported to have called on authorities to immediately release her sister.
“She strongly condemns the arrest and believes this is part of the long standing systematic harassment the state has been handing out to the former president and her immediate family,” said Chanthunya.
Kumpukwe becomes a second person to be arrested in the matter after another woman, Stella Assani, with links to the former ruling party was also arrested last week. She is still in police custody and is yet to be charged.
According to Chamthunya, Assani was been denied access to lawyers over the weekend while her phones, printers, computers were all seized without a search warrant.
National Police Headquarters spokesperson James Kadadzera could neither confirm nor deny the arrest saying investigators were yet to inform the press office of details of the arrest.
“We can say we are aware of the issue because of the numerous media inquiries but also ask for patience because we cannot confirm any details. All we can say at the moment is that our investigators have been looking for people in connection to the fake letter.
“At the moment, since our investigators are yet to inform us of the details of the matter, we cannot link the arrest to the fake letter. We will probably release all the details on the matter on Wednesday,” said Kadadzera.