Police officers last Thursday arrested a 15-year-old boy (name withheld) for allegedly carrying a maize stalk at President Peter Mutharika’s rally at Luwinga in Mzuzu.
Mutharika last week toured roads under construction in Mzuzu City and held a rally at Luwinga where the boy was allegedly arrested.
The boy spent a night in a cell at Mzuzu Police Station despite a proper charge not made against him.
A police bail seen by The Nation indicates Mankhambira as the offence that the 15-year-old committed. Surprisingly, there is no offence called Mankhambira in the Penal Code and coincidentally the boy comes from Traditional Authority (T/A) Mankhambira in Nkhata Bay.
The bail also indicates December 3 2016 as the day when the boy will have to appear before court while the bail was issued and stamped on December 23 2016.
According to the boy’s father, Bishop Thomson Chirwa of Abundant Life Ministry in Mzuzu, the police are at pains to explain the offence his son committed. He said the only crime his child committed was attending the presidential rally.
Chirwa yesterday said he wants the police to explain why his son was arrested and thrown in a police cell without justification.
“I am confused. I still don’t understand why the police would arrest a 15-year-old for going to the President’s rally. My son is a Malawian and he has a right to attend the President’s rally. Is he not his President? Which President do they want him to be associated with? They claim that he was 15 metres away from the President and he was holding a maize stalk. Does that warrant an arrest?
Meanwhile, Youth and Society executive director Charles Kajoloweka has since condemned the arrest, saying the police “acted foolishly”.
He argued there was no offence that the 15-year-old committed, asking the police to come out clear on the arrest and stop harassing Malawians.
Northern Region Police deputy spokesperson Maurice Chapola asked for more time to check if the bail document bearing a police stamp was authentic. n