10 January 2019

Malawi: Police Arrest MP Kalindo of UTM for Allegedly 'Insulting' Malawi President

Malawi Police Service in Lilongwe have arrested Mulanje South Member of Parliament Bon Kalindo who is also UTM National Director of Youth.

UTM deputy spokesman Leonard Chimbanga confirmed the arrest of Kalindo.

He said Kalindo was arrested by the police at Chitukuko in Lilongwe.

"Now the police are taking him to Area 30" said Chimbanga at around 2:00hrs of Thursday afternoon.

The arrest comes barely few hours after Kalindo refused to apologise to President Peter Mutharika over his recent conduct in leading UTM supporters chanting allegedly insulting songs against the President.

The incident happened last week at Balaka Police Station following the arrest of Vice-President Saulos Chilima's aides -Kushi Unyolo and Joshua Valera - on Sunday afternoon for "acting suspiciously" at the launch of Chiwanja Cha Yao in Balaka where President Peter Mutharika was in attendance.

Chilima, who is also UTM Party torchbearer in the May 21 Tripartite Elections, delegated Valera and Unyolo to deliver a gift at the Yao cultural grouping ceremony to which he had been invited, but failed to go due to a funeral, but the two were arrested and detained at Balaka Police Station.

The Vice-President stormed the station, where he spent about four hours, to find out why his aides got arrested.

Chiwanja cha Ayawo spokesperson McDonald Sembereka is on record as having said Valera and Unyolo were not seen acting suspiciously at the function as police alleged.

In an interview with Nyasa Times on Thursday before his arrest, Kalindo said he did nothing wrong and wondered why he can be arrested now not the day he did the act.

"I did not insult anyone and why am I targeted yet I was not the only one singing? And why was I not arrested that day if at all I insulted him [Mutharika]," said Kalindo.

Commenting on the warrant of arrest rumour issued against him, Kalindo said: "I am just hearing so but I don't know the charges. But I am not moved at all".

"No apologies to make" he added.

National Police Publicist James Kadadzera asked for more time to follow up the matter when contacted on Thursday morning.

"There is no such information [about Kalindo's warrant of arrest] in my office let me find out" he responded to Nyasa Times.

On the night of May 4 2018, Kalindo had one of his vehicles petrol-bombed by unknown assailants at his house in Blantyre while he was at Parliament in Lilongwe.

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