A 37-year-old man is languishing at Mzuzu Prison where he has been remanded after he allegedly insulted President Joyce Banda on Thursday, The Nation has learnt.
The suspect was denied police bail on Friday.
Mzuzu Police spokesperson Maurice Chapola on Monday said police arrested Japhet Chirwa of Mazembe Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Fukamapiri in Nkhata Bay for allegedly calling the President “stupid” and “a failure”.
He said Chirwa lost his cool after his application to have his name changed on his passport was rejected.
“The man went to check his passport at the Regional Immigration Offices, but he was told that the name change was rejected. He then got furious and started talking ill of the President,” said Chapola.
He said Chirwa has since been charged with conduct likely to cause breach of peace contrary to Section 182 of the Penal Code.
Chapola also confirmed that Chirwa was denied bail, arguing that there are conditions attached to police bail despite being free. He added that investigations were also underway and Chirwa would appear before court after the investigations are over.
Malawi Watch executive director Billy Banda on Monday described as a violation of human rights police’s refusal to grant the suspect bail.
Banda said the police erred by not granting the man bail and failing to go on with prosecution when they have evidence he insulted the President.
He said: “This is a straightforward case; I don’t see why they say there are investigations underway. They have all the witnesses, why should they be delaying the case and go on to deny the man bail.
“Let it be noted that police are not there as agents of the President to punish suspects.”