Fourteen National Registration Bureau (NRB) officers in Mzuzu spent a night in police custody after hey were arrested on Sunday, Maravi Post has established.
The group are part of 42 NRB officers who were arrested at Mzuzu Shoprite premise by the police during the same day after an order police received from the Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security, Grace Chiumia.
Mzuzu police spokesperson Martin Bwanali, confirmed the development in a telephone interview on Monday.
“We indeed arrested 42 NRB officers after the minister’s orders. But as of now, only 14 slept in our custody, after investigations,” said Bwanali.
According to police, the group will be charged with a case of conducting unlawful assembly.
On why the minister ordered the police to arrest the officers, Minister Chiumia told the Maravi Post in a telephone interview on Monday, that she was trying to protect government property.
“The 42 had a meeting within the City of Mzuzu, and I joined them secretly. After hearing their plan, I then decided to order the police to arrest them. Among their plan was to confiscate the NRB materials,” said Chiumia.
However, NRB officers said their meeting was part of finding means of how to demand their arrears dating back to May, 2017.
They accused the minister and police of intimidating them especially because of the arrest.
In solidarity to the arrest of their workmates, NRB officers in the northern region agreed to stop working until their friends are released and that their grievances are solved.