The bodyguard sustained a broken leg during a political whistle-stop tour organised by Atupele.
Atupele admitted using his father’s State security guards during the fracas that ensued on January 29 at Bvumbwe when some thugs ambushed him, arguing that he is entitled to State security because he is the son of the former president.
“There was a specific plot to harm me and the police were doing nothing to remove the thugs. BCA guards came to tell the officers at Bvumbwe to remove the thugs. The privileges accorded to the former president extend to the family. Even for the sitting president, security is not for the president only, but the family too,” says Atupele.
He added: “Even if today I am walking in the streets and I am being attacked, I have every right as a citizen to be protected by the police and secondly as son of the former president. This was a serious security threat against my life; so, BCA [officers] had rushed to protect me.”
Asked why he did not use his own security detail, Atupele, while disclosing that he has his own security detail said: “So, I should have been killed? Does that make any sense to you? As son of the former president, it is the family that is protected.”
But the Malawi Law Society has trashed his argument, saying Atupele does not deserve State security because he is an adult and member of Parliament who is conducting political rallies and, as such, should have his own security detail.
Atupele’s use of his father’s State guards has affected one guard, Bennet Mponda, who is admitted to Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre for sustaining a broken leg.
He was injured when a vehicle on the convoy hit him.
“During the fracas, my leg was broken. I was supposed to go to the theatre on Wednesday [ two weeks ago], but due to the accident that occurred near Blantyre Water Board, my appointment was changed to Friday [last week],” Mponda was quoted in the press this week.
While Atupele insists that as a son of former president, he is entitled to use the BCA guards for his security, MLS says Atupele’s use of his father’s State guards is an abuse of public resources.
Argued MLS secretary Jabbar Alide in an interview on Tuesday: “Atupele is the son of the former president. He is not a minor. He is a Member of Parliament and is busy campaigning. He is now an adult and does not need to get security from his father.”
Told that Atupele argues that as son of the former president, his father’s privileges extend to the family as well and, as such, he deserves government security, Alide says: “If he has told you that he is entitled to State security because he is the son of the former president, that is out of the question.
National police spokesperson Davie Chingwalu said it was not proper for the police guards deployed to the former president to be used by the son.
“The guards were deployed to the former head of State and it is not proper for them to be used by the son for political campaign,” says Chingwalu.