Police say investigations into the alleged abduction of Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (Cdedi) executive director Sylvester Namiwa are underway.
National Police spokesperson Peter Kalaya said yesterday the investigators are looking into Namiwa’s matter based on the statement he gave to the police.
He said: “We will not comment on the allegations going around, but work professionally to find out the whole truth of the matter.”
The Human Rights Consultative Committee yesterday said Namiwa owes the country an explanation as to what happened to him.
They demanded that within 24 hours, the civil rights activist must explain what exactly happened, failuring which the police should open charges against him.
In a statement, the committee underscored that if the abduction was staged, Namiwa should be answerable for libel and false allegations of abductions which is tantamount to conduct likely to cause breach of peace, lawlessness and anarchy.
Reads the statement in part: “We further appeal to Malawi Police to utilise the CCTV footage from Crown Hotel neighbourhood which ably captured the abductors when they first grabbed to wrong person from the hotel.
“These should be identified and face the law. We make such demands mindful of the fact that the civil space needs to be seriously guarded for the citizenry to be objectively represented.”
However, the civil society organisations (CSOs) under the Action against Impunity (API) backed Namiwa’s abduction claims yesterday.
They described the alleged abduction as barbaric and archaic.
The grouping further accused the governing Tonse Alliance main partner, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) operatives of attempting to instill fear in Malawians to take the country back to the era of terror, fear, darkness and death.
In a statement released yesterday, the CSOs reiterated that peaceful demonstrations are a constitutional provision, which is non-negotiable.
Reads the statement in part: “API would like to inform Malawians that Namiwa survived the heinous attack with six scratches; two cuts on the right leg, two cuts from teeth bite on the right hand, two cuts on the outer throat, one cut on the neck, one cut on the left elbow, a stiff neck and a dislocated left knee. He was treated at ABC Clinic in Area 47, Lilongwe.”
The group has since handed over all the necessary information and trace marks to the Malawi Police Service to ease their investigations.
However, in a statement yesterday, MCP national publicity secretary the Reverend Maurice Munthali dismissed the CSOs allegations as intended to dent the image of the party.
“Malawi Congress Party would like to put it clearly and publicly that the allegations from Mr Sylvester Namiwa of Cdedi and associates as repeated on Monday August 1 2022 that members of our party were involved in his alleged abduction on July 27 2022 are baseless, frivolous and misleading,” he said.
Namiwa was allegedly abducted last Wednesday at Area 3 in Lilongwe while he was heading home after holding a press briefing at Crown Hotel as part of the advanced preparations for peaceful demonstrations the following day. n