DPP leader Peter Mutharika spends night in cell, charged

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The interim president of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Peter Mutharika has spent a night in police cell following his arrest on Monday.

He handed himself in to the police after a warrant of arrest was issued against him in connection to events surrounding the death of his brother and former president Bingu wa Mutharika on April 5 last year.

The DPP interim leader is facing charges of soliciting to break the law and tendering false evidence.

Other seven DPP officials including former cabinet ministers namely Patricia Kaliati, Jean Kalirani, Symon Vuwa Kaunda, Henry Mussa, Kondwani Nankhumwa, Nicholas Dausi, were also arrested in connection to the events surrounding the late president’s death day. They have been charged with sedition and soliciting to break the law.

The group including Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Bright Msaka , who has since been interdicted, were being detained at Lumbadzi police station in Lilongwe.

Minister of economic planning and development, and former DPP vice president Goodall Gondwe was also detained. He was spared of spending a night in a police cell after being rushed to Mars hospital in the Capital city following the shooting of his high blood pressure just few hours of his arrest.

Meanwhile, lawyers representing the group are working on their bail application.

Former first lady Callista Mutharika is describing the arrests as political witch-hunting.

Callista made the remarks after visiting her brother in-law Peter at the southern region police headquarters in Blantyre before he was moved to Lilongwe.

However, government spokesperson Moses Kunkuyu dismissed claims that the arrests were political.

The arrests follow the release of the commission of inquiry report on the death of the former president.

The 90-page report summarizes the conclusion of a commission of Enquiry that has been released to the public by President Joyce Banda, almost a year after the death of Mutharika on fifth April last year following a heart attack while in office.

It contains details of lies, plots and a conspiracy by cabinet ministers and top officials in government to cling to power and to subvert the constitution and to stage a military coup in their attempt to hang on to power and prevent the then vice President Joyce Banda from being sworn in as President in keeping with constitutional requirements.

The report exposes heroes as well as villains over a plot to hide the death of the President.

face of Malawi alongside other media houses, is giving members of the public an opportunity to debate and discuss the report and to allow the public suggest a way forward.

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