Police in Blantyre on Sunday arrested two men on suspicion that they were selling governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) regalia meant for free distribution to party members.
National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera said in an interview that the two DPP members from the party’s Southern Region Committee were arrested following a tip-off.
He identified the two as Chikondi Makoka, 38, from Makanganya Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Nkanda in Mulanje and Peter Mawerenga, also aged 38, from Tonya Village, T/A Somba in Blantyre.
Kadadzera said the police have since recovered 35 rolls of the party cloth.
He said: “The two, who are being kept at Blantyre Police Station, have since been charged with being found in possession of property suspected to have been stolen and they will be taken to court soon as investigations are still underway to establish some facts relating to the matter.”
In a separate interview, DPP regional governor (South) Charles Mchacha confirmed that the party lodged a complaint to police after noting that some members were in possession of materials that were earmarked for the party’s primary elections to identify candidates for the parliamentary and local government polls in the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections.
He said: “We purchased materials in readiness for the party primaries, but we were surprised to note that some individuals in the party were selling similar materials. We tipped off the police, hence the arrest.
“We are interested to find out where exactly they got the materials or who asked them to do such a thing because such materials are distributed for free to our members with recommendation from relevant authorities.”
In Malawi, many political groupings distribute for free their regalia. However, the newly formed United Transformation Movement (UTM) of the country’s Vice-President Saulos Chilima sells its party materials, including branded T-shirts, wrappers and baseball caps.
In some shops at the Chichiri Shopping Centre and around Blantyre central business district, opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) branded cloth is also on sale.