Police have arrested Ntcheu District Hospital nurse Chidawawa Mainje, 39, for allegedly insulting President Lazarus Chakwera and First Lady Monica in a WhatsApp group debate on governance in the country.
Police deputy spokesperson Harry Namwaza confirmed the development in an interview on Sunday, saying the suspect has been charged with cyber harassment contrary to Section 86 of Electronic Transactions and Cyber Security Act of 2016.
He faces up to five years imprisonment and a K2 million fine if the State succeeds in its prosecution, the Act stipulates.
Namwaza said the arrest, on Saturday night, followed a complaint lodged by some of the group’s members after noticing that he “had gone out of bounds with his attack against the President.
“Constructive criticism is allowed. But use of obscene language against anyone else cannot be tolerated. I can’t repeat the words he used because they are not consumable,” he said.
Mainje’s arrest comes barely a week after Police in Lilongwe arrested 51-year-old Dauka Manondo for allegedly insulting Minister of Labour Vera Kamtukule in his WhatsApp group post.
The National Organisation of Nurses and Midwives in Malawi has since warned to embark on nationwide strike if the police do not release Mainje.
Mainje comes from Malothi Village, Traditional Authority Mlolo in Nsanje District.