By Jameson Chauluka
[dropcap]P[/dropcap]olice have arrested President Peter Mutharika’s niece, Manice Hale, who is a well known social media activist critical of the current administration.
Manice, a naturalized American citizen of Malawian dissent is active on Facebook where she is known as Manice Abiti William Dawood. She was arrested at Lilongwe International Airport as she was about to board a flight back to USA where she works as a nurse.
As we were writing this story, Manice was being held at Police Headquarters — Area 30, where her lawyers were negotiating bail for her. She had not been charged yet.
Her troubles may have started when she featured on Times TV’s popular show, Tikudziweni , with host Brian Banda were she lashed out at Mutharika’s administration.
On Facebook she has openly declared that she now supports Saulos Chilima’s United Transformation Movement (UTM).
Her detention comes a few weeks after Mutharika threatened that he would arrest anyone who talks against him.
Mutharika warned his critics that he would evoke Section 4 of the Protected Flag, Emblem and Names Act as Malawi laws prevent anyone from insulting the President.
Section 4 of the Protected Flag, Emblem and Names Act states that any person who does any act or utters any words or publishes or utters any writing calculated to or liable to insult, ridicule or to show disrespect to or with reference to the President, the National Flag, the Armorial Ensigns, the Public Seal, or any protected emblem or protected likeness, shall be liable to a fine of K250 000 and to imprisonment for two years.
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