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CSOs threaten demos over Martha Chizuma arrest

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Benedicto Kondowe

A group of civil society organisations (CSOs) Tuesday threw their weight behind ACB Director General Martha Chizuma, who was arrested by police in the wee hours of Tuesday before being released on police bail.

Briefing reporters in Lilongwe Tuesday, the CSO leaders, who included Human Rights Defenders Coalition Chairperson Gift Trapence, Non- Governmental Organisations Gender Coordination Network Director Barbara Banda, Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation Executive Director Michael Kaiyatsa, National Advocacy Platform Executive Director Benedicto Kondowe and Centre for Social Accountability and Transparency Executive Director Willy Kambwandira, among others, gave authorities three days to unconditionally drop all the changes against Chizuma.

In their address, the CSO leaders said Chizuma’s arrest was directly linked to her uncompromising position against corruption in the country.

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Reading a joint statement on the matter, Kondowe described Chizuma’s arrest as a deliberate attempt by some “invisible forces” to frustrate and incapacitate her, thereby rendering the ACB incompetent of discharging its full mandate under the Constitution and the Corrupt Practices Act.

“We are also informed that while in police custody, Madam Chizuma was humiliated and ill-treated by being made to kneel down as police officers took her details. It is further alleged that she was harassed and threatened by some police officers. We deem these acts as being irrational, unprofessional as well as not befitting the purported transformed Malawi Police Service worth its salt.

“We, therefore, call upon the Malawi Human Rights Commission to immediately investigate these allegations and hold the culprits accountable,” Kondowe said.

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