LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The country’s civil rights watchdog Center for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) executive director Sylvester Namiwa is in robust health and high spirit as he spends a night in police cell awaiting for formal charge in court on Thursday, August 11, 2021.
This dispels rumors that he was brutally beaten immediately after his arrest on Wednesday, morning, August 11, 2021 arrested at Parliament building during a vigil to force parliament leadership to explain about smuggling of the loan bill.
Namiwa’s family member told the Maravi Post that on Wednesday evening that their relative was in good health and spirit despite little push suffered when taken into police vehicle at parliament building.
“After arrest, our brother was taken to Area 30 then to Nathenje police station without any reason now is being kept at Area 13 police station waiting to appear before court on Thursday.
“Mr Namiwa hasn’t been brutally injured as social media was speculating. And the other 10 CDEDI members including the organisation’s publicist Edwin Mauluka are being kept at Lumbadzi police station,” says the family member.
Namiwa was arrested after granting media interviews for the planned vigil outside Parliament entrance.
Malawi Police publicist James Kadadzera said Namiwa was arrested for not adhering to Lilongwe City Council refusal on the vigil.
CDEDI insisted that will go ahead with planed vigil at the main entrance of parliament building from August 11, 2021 despite Lilongwe City Council (LCC) refusal.
Namiwa arrest has attracted mixed reaction as whether demonstrations or vigil should be given a consent apart from notification to authorities according to Malawi’s Constitution.
CDEDI says the vigil aimed at forcing Parliament leadership including Clerk Fiona Kalemba, Speaker Catherine Gotani Hara, leader of the house Richard Chimwendo Banda to give tangible answers to the public on the smuggled MK93 billion Loan Autholization Bill.
On Monday, August 9, LCC refused to grant permission to CDEDI to hold a vigil at Parliament Building from Wednesday over the smuggling of the money Bill to Parliament.
The council’s spokesperson Tamala Chafunya said the council had denied CDEDI the permission due to Covid-19 restrictions and security as the country hosts the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Summit.