LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The country’s civil rights group Centre for Mindset Change (CMC) has dared Malawi Police to release rights activist Sylvester Namiwa immediately and unconditionally for wrongly arresting him.

The grouping has expressed dismay over President Lazarus Chakwera’s Tonse police for contravening the RIGHT to DEMONSTRATE is not subject to approval by the District Commissioner or any Public Authority.

The law (SECTION 96 of the POLICE ACT) necessitates the demonstrators to only notify the authorities and not seeking permission.

CMC finds such arrests, unacceptable, undemocratic and a demonstration of serious negligence in respect to the values of democratic governance.

“We therefore call upon government and its authority to release Mr. Silvester Namiwa and others immediately,” reads part of CMC statement signed by its Executive Director Philip Kamangirah.

Namiwa who is the Executive Director of Center for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI),Edwin Mauluka the media manager and ten others including women were 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 is in robust health and high spirit as he spends a night in police cell awaiting for formal charge in court on Thursday, afternoon August 11, 2021.

Below is CMC full statement made available to The Maravi Post on Thursday, August 12, 2021:


CALL FOR IMMEDIATE AND UNCONDITIONAL RELEASE OF CDEDI LEADERSHIP

Centre for Mindset Change (CMC) is saddened in the manner demonstrated by the Police and the Government of Malawi on the arrest of Mr. Silvester Namiwa who is the Executive Director of CDEDI,
Mr. Edwin Mauluka the media manager and ten others including women.

CMC finds such arrests, unacceptable, undemocratic and a demonstration of serious negligence in respect to the values of democratic governance.We therefore call upon government and its authority to release Mr. Silvester Namiwa and others immediately.

Mr. Silvester Namiwa and others were arrested on Wednesday in Lilongwe at Parliament Building for
leading a demonstration on the notorious Loans Authorization Bill which was ostensibly trafficked to
Parliament by some intricate persons without following the required procedures.

CMC wishes to put it on record that Malawi is a democratic state and therefore leaders and their agencies
should never at any time make an attempt to destroy this democracy that we hardly fought against the
darkest thirty- one rule of the Malawi Congress Party.

We wish to hassle that the RIGHT to DEMONSTRATE is not subject to approval by the District Commissioner or any Public Authority. The law (SECTION 96 of the POLICE ACT) necessitates the demonstrators to only notify the authorities and not seeking permission.

CMC finds the arrests unjustifiable and a proof of hypocrisy, an iota of mediocrity and a momentous
impunity demonstrated by the Tonse Alliance under the Leadership of President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera.
The arrest of Mr. Namiwa and others is a severe undemocratic attack on the civic space which Malawi
has enjoyed over the years.

We therefore wish to remind the Tonse Alliance government that Human Rights are not negotiable. We
call upon the government and its agencies to stop harassing, intimidating, victimizing and oppressing the
people of Malawi for reasons of enjoying their constitutional rights as provided for. Such mannerisms are
tantamount to the death of our hard- earned democracy. Freedoms to assembly, association and
expression are legal and ought to be respected at all level.


Signed by: Philip Kamangirah, CMC DIRECTOR, Dated: 12th August, 2021

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