By Iommie Chiwalo
LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The country’s CSO, Center for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has expressed displeasure with the police conduct for arresting journalist Watipaso Mzungu saying is a ploy to undermine media freedom.
In a statement issued on April 6, 2021 and signed by its Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa, CDEDI reminds the Tonse Alliance Government under President Lazarus Chakwera that Malawi is no longer a one-party state which was characterised by rule of darkness, fear and death.
“We are concerned with the detention and subsequent intimidation of Mr. Watipaso Mzungu who writes for a number of news outlets including Nyasa Times,”
Reading from the findings of this publication, Mr. Mzungu was detained simply because he wrote a story in which he quoted the CDEDI Executive Director, Mr. Sylvester Namiwa who described President Chakwera as a joker and a time waster due to his failure to honour his public promises, such as the announcement of a new cabinet.
“We look at the detention of Mr. Mzungu as a futile attempt by Dr. Chakwera’s leadership to instill fear in journalists in the country, a development that can easily be construed as a tactic to stifle media freedom and freedom of expression in Malawi,” observes Namiwa.
Namiwa has warned the Inspector General (IG) for the Malawi Police Service (MPS) and President Chakwera to know that Malawians will never be intimidated with such acts by the police, in a democratic state where everyone is supposed to enjoy freedom of expression.
The CDEDI Executive Director has since challenged Malawi government and the police IG that the current conduct of the police will never force Malawians to slide back to dictatorship.
“It is for this reason that CDEDI is challenging government that Malawi will never slide back to dictatorship and that CDEDI and it’s leadership will never retreat or surrender,” he says.
He added: “We shall always endevour to safeguard our hard earned democracy which Malawi Congress Party (MCP) vehemently opposed in 1992,”
Meanwhile Police have released unconditionally Nyasa Times Reporter, Watipaso Mzungu who was summoned and detained at Area 30 Police in Lilongwe.
He says they have taken his statement over a story he published that quoted CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa calling President Lazarus Chakwera a joker and time waster.
Namiwa was reacting to Chakwera’s change of tunes on cabinet assessment and reshuffle.