Gift Trapence, Macdonald Sembereka spend 2nd night in cooler

James Kadadzera

Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) members, Gift Trapence and Macdonald Sembereka, Monday spent a second night in the cooler following their arrest on Sunday.

Trapence and Sembereka, who were arrested in Lilongwe, were taken to Blantyre where they are being kept as they wait to be taken to court.

HRDC member, Luke Tembo, Monday evening said that police took caution statements from the two and was not sure if they will be taken to court today.


One of the lawyers representing the two, Bright Theu, asked for more time to get the latest on the matter from members of his team who were on the ground.

Trapence, Sembereka and HRDC Chairperson, Timothy Mtambo, have been charged with violating Section 124 of the Penal Code that prohibits any person from inciting or soliciting another to break any law.

The section attracts a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment.


National Police spokesperson, James Kadadzera, said in a statement Monday that no one can seal a State residence unless they breach the provisions of section 103 of the Police Act.

“This provision has been brought to their attention previously when they attempted to demonstrate to the State residence. The nation should also be informed that section 124 of the Penal Code prohibits any person to incite or solicit another to break any law.

“By inciting people to seal the State Residences on 25th March 2020, the three committed an offence under section 124 of the Penal Code,” Kadadzera said, adding that Mtambo is reportedly on the run and that police are looking for him.

“We have arrested the two; all proper procedures are being followed, including formal charges, before appearing in court,” Kadadzera said.

Reports indicate that Sembereka has been detained at Ndirande Police Station whereas Trapence is at Blantyre Police Station.

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