By Lucy Liponda
Opposition Malawi Democratic Party (MDP) leader Kamlepo Kalua and opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) deputy secretary general are tonight spending their second night at the Zomba Maximum Prison in the former colonial capital, Zomba.
This, after the acting Chief Resident Magistrate Nyakwawa Usiwa Usiwa sentenced the duo on Monday to 20 months imprisonment for making seditious remarks and proposing violence respectively.
Although the two were suffering for the UDF leader Bakili Muluzi and his party, former Finance Minister Friday Jumbe was the only high ranking UDF official present when the two were being sentenced.
Jumbe offered the two, words of encouragement, whilst the other handful opposition supporters looked on helplessly.
Delivering the judgement in court, Usiwa Usiwa said the two had intention to achieve something bad as their messages were transmitted instantly through Joy Radio.
Joy Radio is owned by former president and UDF leader Bakili Muluzi.
The magistrate said that the statements uttering by the two at a political rally addressed by Bakili Muluzi were emotive considering that they were also spoken in the Eastern region of the country where political violence was also common.
Usiwa Usiwa said that the statements could have caused people to go violent or getting angry with the incumbent President Ngwazi Dr Bingu wa Mutharika.
Amongst other words that Makande uttered at the rally included, chichitike chichitike, ali ndi mwana agwiritse, mumva zotha itha.
Makande also told the rally that governments in Pakistan, Madagascar, Zimbabwe and Kenya changed not through the courts but through acts of violence by the people.
On his part, Kalua appealed to the people at the same rally not to fear limbani mtima and also warned the Malawi Police officers that they have children and relatives and went on further to say tingaope Police? Tingaope Bingu?
In his ruling, the acting chief resident magistrate said that the words uttered by the two could have incited people to violence and cause physical harm to others.
The magistrate said that Makande’s words making references to other world countries that experienced violence were meant to plunge Malawi into lawlessness.
The magistrate warned that although there was freedom of expression in this country, there was need to correct any errors in governance and economic management and not the way the two political leaders conducted themselves.
On March 31st this year, Kamlepo Kalua and Hophmally Makande incited the public to rise against any decision by the independent Malawi Electoral Commission to bar former president Bakili Muluzi from taking part in the May 19th polls.
Muluzi was barred by the Malawi Constitution to seek another unconstitutional third term of office.
Both Kalua and Makande are believed to have been sent by Muluzi to incite the public to rise up against the government on his behalf.
Although Muluzi was present in person at Mangochi Old Airport where the offence was committed, the UDF national leader did not condemn what the two speakers said before Muluzi himself took to the podium.
Former president Bakili Muluzi has on three occasions tried to rape the Malawi Constitution by seeking an unconstitutional third term of office and on all those three occasions, he has failed miserably.
As Hophmally Makande and Kamlepo Kalua are serving their sentence in prison, the master who sent them to utter the said words Bakili Muluzi is enjoying a government funded medical trip in the United Kingdom. Bakili Muluzi has spent over 5 months in the UK now-Malawi Digest.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Kamlepo, Makande handed 20 months IHL
By Lucy Liponda