LILONGWE (MaraviPost)—The main opposition Malawi Congress Party members of Parliament (MPs), Jessie Kabwira, Peter Chankhwatha and shadow MP Ulemu Msungama were arrested and charged with treason and sedition charges extended saw their police bail extended to August 1, 2016 pending police’s thorough investigation on the matter.This is the fifth time the Malawi police have extended the bail application raising questions as to whether the state has enough evidence to take the trio to court.
The development has also angered the defense team which is now planning to take legal action to stop the frequent bail extensions describing the conduct as torture towards the clients.
Addressing journalists on Thursday at Area 30’s Police Headquarters in the capital Lilongwe after trio’s bail application was extended, Gustavo Kaliwo, the lawyer representing the three, accused the police of torturing his clients for lack of evident over the matter.
Kaliwo who is also MCP Secretary General disclosed that legal action will be taken to stop police for failing to take his clients to court on the matter.
“The bail application has once again been extended to August 1, 2016. We don’t really understand their real intensions on this matter though they keep on saying are investigating. But as earlier said, we thought the time they were arresting my clients had imminent evidence to take them to court. This is based on the circumstance the three underwent upon their arrest in February.
“Just to keep them travelling and reporting for bail application to us it’s a torture and unnecessary hardships to the clients. We want this to stop. If they don’t have sufficient evidence they should come clearly to us otherwise we are planning to take another step to stop with once and for all.
“My clients will appear before the police on the said date as usual complying with the bail condition. This will be the last time. We are therefore urging police and government to bring all the said evidence against my clients that if there’s a case we be ready for it than this madness,” fumed Kaliwo.
In an earlier interview with The Maravi Post, Dr. Kabwira, a legislator for Salima North West Constituency, challenged the authority to produce the evidence against them on the alleged treason saying the motive was to suffocate the insightful role they play as an opposition party on the mess DPP government is inflicting on Malawians.
Kabwira said the extension of the bail will not stop her as MCP Spokesperson from pointing out issues affecting Malawians including food and drug shortages in public hospitals, skyrocketing of goods and services.
“This extension is a joke as it’s for fifth time. The time we are spending visiting the police we could have been in constituencies carrying developmental activities. In fact, am almost ready to be in court to challenge the state as I have enough evidence that we didn’t plan take over government.
“It just shows that the state don’t have enough evidence to carry on the case to the court. We were ready even the first time the state arrested us. However, the delay to prosecute me won’t stop us from pointing out critical issues affecting Malawians. Therefore, am urging our men and women in uniform to conduct their duties professionally and refrain from being used as political instruments to hunt others without proper reasons,” appealed Kabwira.
But both Kabwira and Chankhwatha were in their second police appearances cleared to travel outside the country on official duties as Members of Parliament (MPs).
According to the police bail sheet, the three MCP officials were said to be plotting to topple President Peter Mutharika through a WhatsApp conversation on ways to execute the move.
Since then, the Malawi media has be awash with different versions of the trio’s real charges as reports indicate that Attorney General (AG) Kalekeni Kaphale and Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Mary Kachale didn’t not endorse the arrest of the MCP officials.
Sources say that it was Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu who sanctioned the arrest, move which has cornered the police on how to proceed with the case.
After the arrest of the three, Inspector General of Police (IG) Lexen Kachama through the press conference confessed to the public that the police did not have proper charges for them saying their arrest was a mere warning to what they were discussing on WhatsApp.