Malawiâ€™s Vice President Joyce Banda has left Maula Prison in the capital, Lilongwe, where she paid a solidarity visit to UDF presidential aspirant Atupele Muluzi arrested on Tuesday.
Banda said the arrest of Atupele, son to Malawiâ€™s former president Bakili Muluzi, was a vindication of the cries of Malawians that things are not alright in Malawi.
Banda arrived at the prison in a three-vehicle convoy at 10.45 am and junior officers of Malawi Police Service refused her convoy to proceed. They asked her to walk to the prison.
The Vice President, in company of her sister Cecilia Kumpukwe, opted to cover the one kilometre distance on foot before musician Lucius Banda, who was already in the cordoned-off area, gave her a lift.
Banda spoke to Atupele for six minutes and encouraged him to pray and stay strong, saying his message offered hope to Malawians.
â€˜Arrest very unnecessaryâ€™
“This is very unnecessary, we take a message of hope to Malawians. Despite our political differences, Atupele, Joyce Banda and everybody else is working to give hope to Malawians that not all is lost and we will work to change things for the better,” said Banda.
She said the situation was bad and thatâ€™s what Malawians fought for against one party.
â€˜I am in good spiritsâ€™
Atupele explained to Banda how he was arrested and how he was feeling, saying he was in ‘good spirits’.
Atupele was moved from Lumbadzi Police Station to Maula Maximum Prison and police have mounted a roadblock, barring vehicles and news people carrying cameras.
Atupele was arrested on Tuesday at about 12:30 pm at Bunda Turn-Off Roadblock in Lilongwe, six kilometres from the heart of the city as he was leaving the capital for his base, Blantyre. His arrest follows the burning down of a police unit, a vehicle and a house by alleged UDF supporters during clashes with the police in Lilongweâ€™s Area 24 on Sunday where he held a rally.
National police spokesperson Davie Chingwalu earlier said the Machinga North East parliamentarian was picked after he defied the Lilongwe district commissionerâ€™s (DC) order not to proceed with his rallies in the capital city.