Activists who threaten to shutdown Malawi state residences arrested


Two human rights activists in Malawi have been arrested by the police for threatening to shut down State residences to force President Peter Mutharika to sign into law an electoral bill recently passed by the parliament.

Gift Trapence and Macdonald Sembereka are members of the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) who also called for the president to fire the head of the electoral commission ahead of an upcoming presidential election.

The two were arrested on Sunday night while the police are still looking for the organisation’s leader Timothy Mtambo.

HRDC chairperson Mtambo said the group has planned March 25 as the date for the shutdown of State Houses if President Mutharika is not going to act on the bill and appoint a new election commissioner.

Nyasa Times reports that President Mutharika warned on Sunday that he will not continue to tolerate HRDC and the opposition party’s desire to “demolish the economy and turn the country into an ungovernable lawless state.”

“I’m tired of HRDC stupidity and I will show them what I am made of….. Mtambo smell the coffee, wake up and realize your party is over,” said Mutharika while directing security agencies to block the vigils.

Mr Trapence and Mr Sembereka have been charged with inciting violence according to HRDC member Luke Tembo.

The organisation has been organising protests against the handling of May 2019 presidential elections that the court ordered be repeated. (Source: BBC)