The Leadership Institute for Transparency and Accountability (LITA) has demanded the immediate and unconditional release of human and political rights activist Bon ‘Winiko’ Kalindo.
Kalindo was arrested on Wednesday morning hours before he was to lead a protest match to Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe.
His arrest follows a warrant of arrest issued by the court on Monday to the effect that Kalindo jumped bail.
Kalindo was granted bail in January last year after being arrested on suspicion of illegally connecting electricity to his house in Area 25 in Lilongwe.
But reacting to the arrest in a statement Lita’s Executive Director Goodwell Logeya said Kalindo’s arrest is political hence demanding his immediate and unconditional release from police custody.
Logeya said the reasons for Kalindo’s arrest are ‘political and vague’. He further warned that failure to release the activist will call for all Malawians from all the corners of the country to take unspecified action.
“Every Malawian would not hesitate to believe that this is a deliberate plot by the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) administration to frustrate the 30th August 2023 peaceful demonstrations after the organizers of the public protests against the Chakwera’s maladministration successfully lifted the court injunction,” said Logeya in a statement
The statement further said: “Malawi is for Malawians and does not belong to a single grouping or political party. It is not a privilege to take part or organize peaceful demonstrations in the country; rather it is a birthright of every bonafide citizen of this country.”
“Therefore, arbitrary arrests orchestrated by political motives from failed politicians must stop. We, as civil society organizations, will always support open civic space in the country and encourage Malawians to exercise their rights and freedom of assembly, association and expression without fear,”
LITA also appealed to President Lazarus Chakwera not to entertain his zealous minions who want to exercise unconstitutional powers by intimidating, abducting and silencing activists and critics in the country in order to shrink the civic space, as these actions are exacerbating the already inflated anger of the impatient Malawians who are fed up with this clueless administration.
Meanwhile, Chief Resident Magistrate court in Lilongwe has ordered an immediate release of Activist Bon Kalindo from police detention.
The court has also suspended the warrant of arrest it issued on Tuesday pending an interparty hearing scheduled for the second week of September.