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‘Abducted’ Sylvester Namiwa found

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Executive Director of Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives, Sylvester Namiwa, has been ‘found’ after he was allegedly abducted in Lilongwe on Wednesday.

Namiwa had just addressed the press where he had confirmed Wednesday’s anti-government demonstrations when he was reportedly whisked away by unknown people.

Information that we gathered Thursday indicated that he had been found at Nathenje, on the outskirts of Lilongwe City.

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He said he would provide more information about his experience at a later moment, but insisted he would not be intimidated by anyone.

“What I can say is that I will continue fighting and I am ready to die for Malawi,” Namiwa said.

In Parliament, tempers flared over the state of security following Namiwa’s alleged abduction.

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It all started when Member of Parliament for Mulanje South West Constituency George Chaponda asked Minister of Homeland Security Jean Sendeza to address the House on the matter.

Chaponda also argued that the country is in a state of insecurity, citing an example of panga-wielding youths who were loitering in the streets of Lilongwe allegedly sent to foil the demonstrations.

“We are worried because already there are people moving around the cities carrying pangas and knives threatening people who plan to demonstrate while the police watch,” Chaponda said.

In her response, while acknowledging that her ministry had received a report on Namiwa’s purported abduction, accused Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of staging the abduction to tarnish government’s image.

“We have information that the DPP has staged the abduction to soil the good reputation of this government. People are being ferried from Thyolo to Lilongwe to cause havoc. And those people you have seen carrying Pangas, are there to protect their businesses from violent protesters,” Sendeza said.

President Lazarus Chakwera had earlier issued a statement, through his spokesperson Anthony Kasunda, in which he had condemned the alleged abduction.

“The President remains resolute in his commitment to fight any forces challenging government efforts to keep Malawi a free society in which every citizen enjoys their rights as enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi.

“The President, therefore, condemns this lawless act and calls upon the Malawi Police Service and other law enforcement agencies to speed up investigations into the matter,” the statement read.

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