Police have said preliminary investigations show that outspoken Rumphi East member of Parliament (MP) Kamlepo Kalua (People’s Party-PP) staged his kidnap.
In an interview last evening, National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera said the legislator also risks arrest for the alleged act.
Kalua, who is PP third vice-president and one of the fierce critics of President Peter Mutharika’s administration, was purportedly found early morning yesterday by passersby at Kwacha Roundabout in Blantyre, about three kilometers from his house in Nkolokosa Township.
Kalua is quoted on social media as having told the people who found him that he had been dumped at the site by unknown abductors.
Pictures making rounds on the social media showed Kalua tied with blue ropes on both his hands and legs. He was, however, smartly dressed.
But Kadadzera said Kalua may be prosecuted for misleading the nation and giving false information should more evidence come out.
He said: “Our preliminary investigations indicate that he faked the kidnap. Someone who is abducted for one week cannot dress as smart as he was at the time he was found. He could not have time to shave his head and put on clean clothes and shoes.
“He further claimed that he was tortured, but he had no marks to substantiate he was indeed subjected to torture.”
Kadadzera said police officers also visited the site where Kalua is building a house in Chileka, Blantyre where he claimed to have been abducted, but people in the area said he was last seen in the vicinity more than two months ago.
He said: “We are continuing with our [investigations] to find out more on why he staged the abduction and if there were any other people who aided him to stage it.”
But Kalua’s family spokesperson John Mapunda, in an interview, dismissed the police version. He said Kalua was a fighter and a man of integrity who cannot sink so low to fake a kidnap.
He said: “For what should he stage abduction? That is cheap propaganda. He cannot do that.”
When The Nation visited Kalua’s house in Nkolokosa, family members said he was resting while recovering from “psychological shock”; hence, not in a position to grant media interviews.
Kalua was taken to a hospital for a medical check-up.
Mapunda said the politician could not remember anything as he had lost memory of what exactly happened to him at his captors place.
The politician’s alleged abduction also received mixed reactions from the public with majority of them questioning the authenticity of the claims, especially looking at his dress and grooming.
Kalua’s family reported the legislator missing on April 29 days after tussling with the public tax collector Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) and police over duty status of his two vehicles—a Mercedes Benz and a grounded Jeep Grand Cherokee.