Center for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has demanded for an immediate release of Nyasatimes journalist Watipaso Mzungu who has been arrested over a story attacking President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera.

Mzungu has been detained for quoting CDEDI Executive Director, Mr. Sylvester Namiwa who described President Chakwera as a joker and a time waster due to his failure to honour his public promises, such as the announcement of a new cabinet.

In a statement CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa has described the arrest of Mzungu as threat to democracy in the country.

“We are concerned with reports of the summoning and detention of Mr. Watipaso Mzungu who writes for a number of news outlets including Nyasatimes.

“According to social media reports, Mr. Mzungu has been detained simply because he wrote a story in which he quoted the CDEDI Executive Director, Mr. Sylvester Namiwa who described President Chakwera as a joker and a time waster due to his failure to honour his public promises, such as the announcement of a new cabinet. We hope the summoning of Mr. Mzungu is not meant to instill fear in journalist in the country, a development that can easily be construed as a tactic to stifle media freedom and freedom of expression in Malawi,” reads in part the statement.

He added: “Let the Inspector General (IG) for the Malawi Police Service (MPS) and President Chakwera know that Malawians will never be intimidated with such acts by the police, in a democratic state where everyone is supposed to enjoy freedom of expression.

“It is for this reason that CDEDI is demanding the immediate and unconditional release of Mr. Mzungu.”

Police spokesperson James Kadadzera and Minister of Information Gospel Kazako are yet to comment on the matter.

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