Politician Bon Kalindo says he is waiting to see the formal charges against him that led to his rearrest in Zomba on Monday immediately after being granted court bail.
In an interview yesterday, lawyer Gilbert Khonyongwa, who is representing the politician-cum-comedian, said his client was released later on Monday on police bail with a condition that he should report to National Police Headquarters at Area 30 in Lilongwe on weekly basis until the case is heard in court.
He said: “We are yet to see specific charges levelled against Mr. Kalindo on his re-arresting. We anticipate to formally see the charges when the case resumes in court soon.”
National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera also said Kalindo was granted police bail on his arrival in Lilongwe from Zomba where he was appearing in court for a case in which he is accused of publishing false information.
He said police are acting independently based on available information to make the arrests and ruled out any political interference.
Kalindo’s re-arrest on Monday raised eyebrows among human rights activists who felt it was politically motivated and accused President Lazarus Chakwera of working to stifle dissenting views.
Reacting to Kalindo’s release in a written response yesterday, Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (Cdedi) executive director Sylvester Namiwa, on behalf of other civil society organisations that earlier issued a statement condemning the arrest, said they feel vindicated that the arrest was politically motivated and a futile attempt to silence Kalindo.
He said that it is the reason they challenged the Inspector General of Police George Kainja, through a statement, to intervene by releasing Kalindo.
Namiwa said: “This validates the assertions that President Lazarus Chakwera and his Malawi Congress Party are a threat to our hard earned democracy.
“Looking at reasons for the arrest, it was very clear our police are practising selective application of justice. Simply put selective application of justice has no space in modern democracy.”
He said the President and his administration should spell out an economic recovery plan complete with cushion measure to the people and deliver on his campaign promises made prior to the June 23 2020 court sanctioned fresh presidential elections or else accept failure and resign.
Other civil society organisations voicing out concerns together with Cdedi are Social Revolution Movement, Human Rights Ambassadors, Forum for Democracy and Rights Defenders, Mzuzu Youth Caucus and Centre for Children Affairs in Malawi.
Kalindo’s dramatic re-arrest on Monday happened minutes after he was granted bail by the Zomba Resident Magistrate’s Court, on allegations that he committed other offences during the recent Lilongwe demonstrations.
Kalindo was first arrested on Friday last week on allegations that he told protesters in Mangochi on Thursday that former Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament Clement Chiwaya did not shoot himself, but was murdered at Parliament Building in Lilongwe.