Police in MalawiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s commercial city, Blantyre, on Tuesday summoned UDF director of research Humphrey Mvula and private practice lawyer Ralph Kasambara for allegedly inciting disaffection for President Bingu wa Mutharika through the ongoing Judiciary strike.
Both Mvula and Kasambara confirmed meeting Southern Region Police Commissioner Rodney Jose at his office in the afternoon. They both denied the charges.
Mvula said he was called by a regional criminal investigations officer in the morning for a scheduled meeting with Jose to which he was surprised to find Kasambara present as well.
Said Mvula: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Jose told us that police have confirmed intelligence reports that Kasambara and I have been meeting the past 48 hours to take advantage of the Judiciary strike by creating disaffection through unspecified people. I have not met Kasambara in the past seven days and the meeting [with Jose] amounts to intimidation and harassment.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Kasambara described the accusation as a laughable fabrication to which Jose failed to give names the two politicians were conniving with on the allegations.
He has since written president of the Malawi Law Society John-Gift Mwakhwawa and all his colleagues on the development.
Wrote Kasambara: Ã¢â‚¬Å“He further went on to say that we are intending to publicise to Malawians how the strike is aiding the police in violating the 48-hour rule with the result that Malawians will have disaffection for Mutharika.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“JoseÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s statement got closer to suggesting that we are about to commit sedition or treason. How we intended to do that, he declined to comment further, but said that he was simply carrying out his duty of preventing commission of a crime.Ã¢â‚¬Â
He said whereas Jose urged Mvula and Kasambara to be patriotic and not get involved in the strike, the ongoing industrial action affected all Malawians and has serious implications on our economy and human rights.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I reacted with disbelief on our politiciansÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ attempt to use the police institution to silence people and intimidate them into cowardice so that the other side of the industrial action is not exposed.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We all know how these twin offences are used by the Bingu [wa Mutharika] administration to harass opposition and civic society leaders; and no such case has been prosecuted to its logical conclusion,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said.
Jose refused to comment on the matter.