Free Mneneri! Calls for the release of Joshua Chisa Mbele

By  Winfred Zagwa

There has been mixed reaction  to the arrest of social media influencer, businessman and one of the leaders of the demonstrations Joshua Chisa Mbele  who has been arrested after leading demonstrations  on Friday  in the capital city Lilongwe. Mbele and the group Citizens Against Impunity  and Corruption are demonstrating against the Tonse regime, citing rampant corruption  and failure to honour their manifesto.

National Police Spokesperson Peter Kalaya has confirmed the arrest of Joshua Chisa Mbele, Levi Luwembe and 31 others for allegedly inciting violence during demonstrations.
Kalaya says the suspects will appear in court on Monday.

The leader of opposition Kondwani Nankhumwa was first to react to react to Mbele’s Arrest. In a statement, Nankhumwa describes the arrests as unacceptable and undemocratic.

“The action is a futile attempt to suppress the freedoms of speech and assembly as enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi,” Nankhumwa says in the statement
Social media influencer Onjezani Kenani  demanded that Mbele be released . In  a series of Facebook posts , he wrote “Why they have moved Joshua Chisa Mbele to Nathenje Police Station we have no idea. I hope and pray that no harm comes his way. Arresting anyone for exercising their democratic right is totally uncalled for and must not be condoned in a democracy.” Kenani went on  to say Arresting Mbele is tantamount to intimidation and harassment of anyone who dares to speak against corruption.
Many that are for Mbele release are against the Tonse Government  heavy handed approach against protestors and those that are perceived to be against the government . Many are comparing to the DPP Mutharika regime who were tolerant of demostrators.

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