Malawi Police Withdraws Warrant of Arrest Against Political Activist Bon Kalindo Over 'Insulting' President Lazarus Chakwera

23 January 2022

The Malawi Police Service (MPS) says it will go to court to cancel a warrant of arrest it obtained against political activist Bon Kalindo.

An MPS statement confirming an existing warrant of arrest for Kalindo, went viral on social media on Saturday afternoon.

It said Kalindo was being wanted for "insulting" President Lazarus Chakwera, contrary to section 4 of Protected Flags, Emblems and Names cap. 18.03 of the Laws of Malawi.

The statement attracted condemnation from many Malawians, prompting Homeland Security Minister Richard Chimwendo Banda to order the Inspector General of Police, Dr. George Kainja, not to enforce the warrant of arrest against Kalindo.

The minister justified his action, saying "it is the policy of the current government to refrain from enforcing such laws that stifle freedoms enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi".

And indeed on Saturday night, MPS issued a statement, announcing that "it has decided against arresting Kalindo for the offence of insulting the president".

The statement is signed by MPS Spokesperson, James Kadadzera.

It says "the decision has been made independently and not influenced by pressure from the public or politicians".

Kalindo allegedly committed the offence of "insulting" President Lazarus Chakwera on Friday during demonstrations he led in Blantyre.

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