The United Nations (UN) has ordered for the immediate release of Human Right Defenders Coalition (HRDC) Vice Chairperson Gift Trapence and Macdonald Sembereka.

The Malawi Police Service (MPS) under the Fiscal department on Tuesday arrested the two on fraud allegations and operating an unregistered organisation called MANGO.

The two appeared before the Lilongwe Magistrate Court where they were formally charged but they were denied bail.

But a statement from UN through its Coordinator trashed the accusations and the arrest of the two, saying the issue regarding the MK7.4million was resolved amicably.

“UNAIDS respectfully requests the immediate release of the two members of the Mango Network, Mr Gift Trapence and Mr Macdonald Sembereka, from police custody.

“UNAIDS is strongly supportive of the full empowerment and engagement of civil society organizations in the AIDS response. It looks forward to continuing its partnership with community and civil society organizations in ensuring that all people affected by HIV have access to HIV prevention, treatment and social support services and that their human rights are protected,” reads in part the statement.

The statement further said that that UNAIDS reported MANGO to police but the case did not represent legal action against the organisation.

Meanwhile police and the Malawi government are yet to comment on the matter.

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Robert Ngwira
Attended Our Future Private Secondary School in Rumphi from 2006-2009 Holder of Diploma in Journalism from Malawi Institute of Journalism (MIJ) Hobbies, reading newspapers, going out with friends, listening to radio and watching football.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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