“Among those arrested are Mr. Chisa Mbele and Mr. Levi Luwembe”
Police in Malawi’s
capital, Lilongwe, on Friday arrested organizers of an anti-government protest
and about 30 others for allegedly inciting violence.
Peter Kalaya told VOA that the violence started when the protesters were denied
permission to present a petition directly to the president at his state residence.
“When they reached
the district’s commissioner office, instead of presenting their petition to the
district commission, they wanted to take him to the state house to present the
petition. So when the district commissioner said no, they came back into the
street and started stoning buildings,” Kalaya said.
Kalaya said the
protesters’ demands were contrary to what was agreed upon in planning meetings
for the march.
He said during the
meetings it was agreed upon that the demonstrators would present their petition
to the office of the district commissioner, not take it to the president’s
Kayala said police
arrested 33 people, including two protest organizers.
“Among those arrested
are Mr. Chisa Mbele and Mr. Levi Luwembe. At the moment they are in police
custody and they are charged with inciting violence,” Kayala said. Those
arrested will appear in court Monday he said.
On Thursday, Mbele led
a similar protest in Malawi’s commercial capital, Blantyre, where protesters
presented their petition to the office of the district commissioner.
The march was organized
to protest the high cost of living and alleged corruption in the Lazarus
Protesters also accused
Chakwera of failing to fulfill promises he made during his campaign two years
ago, when he said would ensure food security to all Malawians and create 1
million jobs for Malawians once he took power.
The president said
during his state of the nation address this week that he was doing everything
possible to address people’s concerns.