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CSO wants Grace Chiumia fired

Forum for National Development (FND) has asked the government and the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to discipline Home Affairs and Internal Security Minister, Grace Chiumia.

This, they say, follows the order she allegedly gave to police over the weekend to arrest National Registration Bureau officers in Mzuzu.

But Chiumia told Times Radio earlier this week that she did not order the police, but only gave them a tip to prevent damage to government property.

The civil society group says, Chiumia’s actions have disgraced the government and embarrassed the DPP administration.

In a statement released on Tuesday and signed by National Coordinator Fryson Chodzi, Chairperson Bright Kampaundi and Board Member Chikumbutso Mtumodzi, FND says, if not checked, abuse of power may affect the country’s democracy.

“We humbly ask her to stop using this name which is a symbol of democratic excellency and free speech worldwide. As a minister, she should not have stooped so low to eavesdrop in a lawful assembly of young people who just wanted to discuss issues affecting their livelihoods. She abused her powers,” reads part of the statement.

The statement asks the government and DPP to condemn the minister to clean their names.

“How can the whole Cabinet minister forget that we are in a multiparty democracy where freedom of association, freedom of assembly and freedom of speech are enshrined in the Republican Constitution. Therefore, any Malawian has a right to assemble and discuss issues affecting them.

“Her actions put a dent on President Arthur Peter Mutharika’s team as it were. We believe the government and DPP do not want Malawi and [the] entire world to believe that the best they can offer is an overzealous minister with no regard to ideals enshrined in the Republican Constitution,” reads the statement.

However, DPP spokesperson, Francis Kasaila, said the minister might have made the direction as a Cabinet minister and not as a DPP member.

But government spokesperson, Nicholas Dausi, refused to comment on the issue.

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