20 March 2012

Malawi: Ex-President's Son Arrested After Unrest

Photo: Mathews Malata/RNW
Thousands of Malawians took to the streets to protest against the government (file photo).

A Malawian opposition legislator, Atupele Muluzi, was arrested on Tuesday in the wake of unrest in the capital, Lilongwe, on Sunday.

The Nyasa Times reports that Muluzi - who is the son of former President Bakili Muluzi and reportedly aims to contest the presidency himself in 2014 - was arrested at a roadblock while travelling from Lilongwe to the country's main commercial centre, Blantyre.

Police spokesperson Dave Chingwalu told the Times, "We want to question him." On Monday the Times reported that police raided Muluzi's home in the early hours of the morning but failed to find him.

Police sources told the Times that a warrant had been issued for his arrest on charges of "inciting [the] public to engage in violence and destroying property".

The arrest follows a bid by Muluzi to hold a series of rallies around the capital on Sunday, and police attempts to stop them. In one area residents set a police station on fire after security forces teargassed one of the rallies.

Police said Muluzi had no permission to hold public meetings but Muluzi said police had been informed of his intentions, as required by the law. Muluzi is deputy leader of the United Democratic Front in Parliament.

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