Malawi Voice Editor Justice Mponda Arrested for Extortion

press release

Editor of Malawi Voice an online publication Justice Mponda was arrested on Friday in Blantyref or allegedly on charges of allegedly trying to extort money.

Police has confirmed that they were holding Mponda in cell.

In an alert to Malawian journalist on their internet discussion forum, chairperson of the Malawi Chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA), Anthony Kasunda, said he has been to Blantyre Police Station where Justice Mponda is being held on " extortion" charge.

"I did not manage to meet him as I was told it is late, but a police officer on duty was kind enough to go inside and speak to him on my behalf.

"In brief, he says he was told by some PP officials (name withheld for the time being) to meet them in Limbe to thank him for removing a critical story on the internet. As he was receiving K500, 000 as a thank you and part payment to develop a website for the PP guys, Police officers arrested him. The money is here as exhibit according to the officer," Kasunda informed.

Mponda was last year cleared from the courts on charges insulting President Joyce Banda and Publishing False Information.

Misa-Malawi has always argued that only dialogue between government and the media would provide a more enabling environment for media freedom, freedom of expression and ultimately citizen empowerment.

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