Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) regional governor (North) Christopher Mzomera Ngwira handed himself over to Mzuzu Police yesterday.
Ngwira is suspected to have been involved in a case where some DPP functionaries allegedly attacked people at an opposition solidarity rally at Chibavi Ground in Mzuzu on March 20 2016.
In an interview yesterday, Northern Region Police spokesperson Peter Kalaya confirmed Ngwira’s arrest, saying he reported at Mzuzu Police Station accompanied by his lawyer Christon Ghambi.
“As we communicated earlier, we have a warrant of arrest for Ngwira and we have been hunting for him. Today [Thursday] in the morning, he came to Mzuzu Police Station with his lawyer and has since been arrested. We recorded some statements from him and at the moment he has been taken to court,” he said.
In a separate interview, Ghambi confirmed accompanying Ngwira to police, but could not explain more, saying: “Let’s wait to hear from court what they have to say on our bail application.”
Scores of DPP supporters stormed Mzuzu Courthouse premises and were overheard chanting and pushing for the release of Ngwira.
Notable DPP personalities at the court included the party’s vice-president (North) Goodall Gondwe and national treasurer Jappie Mhango.
In an interview, Gondwe said he was at the court to give Ngwira moral support. But he refused to comment on his arrest, saying: “I don’t have any comment”.
Ngwira joins DPP deputy director of operations Joe Nyirongo— popularly known as Big Joe in Mzuzu City—George Mwamtobe, Lumbani Munthali and Thembisile Nkosi who were earlier arrested for the same offence.
The five are accused of causing bodily harm, unlawful assembly, malicious damage and proposing violence, among other charges.
The case was taken to court yesterday and the State indicated that it would parade 12 witnesses.
In the morning, the State presented one witness and the case was adjourned to the afternoon where more witnesses were expected to testify.
The 2016 rally was addressed by incumbent President Lazarus Chakwera then as leader of opposition Malawi Congress Party, Alliance for Democracy president Enoch Chihana, and the then People’s Party third vice-president Kamlepo Kalua.
The rally was disrupted by panga-wielding individuals suspected to be Nyirongo and 14 others who were accused of causing mayhem by hacking three people and damaging some vehicles.