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Police arrest Lilongwe protest leaders, 31 others

TAKE THAT!—A police officer unleashes his baton on a protestor

— Chisa Mbele

Unlike in Blantyre on Thursday, the demonstrations which Citizens against Impunity and Corruption held in Lilongwe Friday turned ugly leading to the arrest of 33 people.

Those arrested include leaders of the protests Joshua Chisa Mbele and Levi Luwembe.

They will spend a weekend in various police stations for allegedly inciting violence during the demonstrations.

According to National Police spokesperson Peter Kalaya, the demonstrators failed to follow the agreed route and ensure order of the demonstrations when they demanded that Lilongwe District Commissioner Lawford Palani should receive the petition at State House on behalf of President Lazarus Chakwera who is in Mzuzu.

“After they marched to the District Commissioner’s office, instead of presenting the petition, they wanted to force the District Commissioner to go with them to State House so that they can present their petition there. When the DC refused, they turned violent, stoning some buildings along the way so they have been arrested,” he said.

Kalaya said the suspects would appear before court on Monday when they would answer a charge of inciting violence.

Earlier, Chisa Mbele faulted the Tonse Alliance administration for failing to fulfill its promises and subjecting the citizens to economic hardships.

He also cited increased cases of theft and corruption in government.

“It is us who elected them and it is us who are saying the time is over,” he said.

The demonstrations were mostly patronised by young people and vendors plying trade in the town.

The group also organised the demonstrations on Thursday in Blantyre and Zomba.

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