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Saulos Chilima’s aides granted bail

By Yohane Symon:

Vice-President Saulos Chilima’s aides Joshua Valera and Kushi Unyolo, who were arrested in Balaka on Sunday, have been granted police bail after spending a night in custody.

Before their release, the two were admitted to Balaka District Hospital after they reportedly developed high blood pressure and fever.

As of Monday afternoon, police were still waiting for medical personnel at Balaka District Hospital to certify the two fit to stand trial at Balaka Magistrates’ Court.

But later in the afternoon, Eastern Region Police publicist, Joseph Sauka, said the law enforcers granted the suspects bail because they could not stand trial as they are both sick.

“Their release will also give the police ample time to conclude investigations into the matter,” Sauka said.

According to Sauka, Unyolo and Valera have been charged with an offence of conduct likely to cause breach of peace.

“We have finished recording their statements and we are ready to take them to court to answer a charge of conduct likely to cause breach of peace,” he said.

National Police spokesperson, James Kadadzera said the two were arrested on Sunday after displaying suspicious conduct at the launch of Chiwanja cha Ayao which President Peter Mutharika graced.

The two represented Chilima at the function.

Kadadzera earlier said the two did not even occupy any seat and were loitering around, which raised suspicion among the security details at the function.

Police followed the two, who were detained at Chingeni Road-block in the district.

Their arrest prompted Chilima, who was attending a funeral in the same district, to storm Balaka Police Station, seeking clarification on the arrest of his aides.

Meanwhile, Chiwanja cha Ayao Vice- Chairperson, Japher Mussa, has condemned police for arresting Chilima’s two aides.

Mussa said the group is non-political and invited every Malawian to attend.

“We are not happy with the arrest. We did not expect people to be looking at each other with political eyes during the function.

“The two people approached me asking to be given time to present their gift to Kawinga and I told them the procedures. But I was surprised to hear a report of their arrest before they presented the gift. At a place where there are a lot of people, I don’t think it is strange to look around,” said Mussa, who is also one of the senior counsels [Impi] for Paramount Chief Kawinga.

He said the group is still expecting Chilima, not as a leader of a political party but as a Malawian, to present the gift to Kawinga.

“We are still waiting for the gift because it is coming from a Malawian,” he said

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