Blantyre, Malawi, March 12 (Raphael Tenthani) – The eleven former senior Malawi government officials, arrested on Monday following the publication of a report into the death last April of President Bingu wa Mutharika, have been charged with various offences including conspiracy to break the law, sedition and perjury.
According to Information Minister Moses Kunkuyu, the Magistrates’ Court in the Malawi capital, Lilongwe, has set Thursday for bail applications.
“The courts have set Thursday for the hearing of the case because police are still investigation some aspects of the case,” he said.
However, their lead lawyer Kalekeni Kaphale said they will try to move the courts for a hearing on Wednesday.
The eleven were arrested on Monday following the publication of a report into the aftermath of death last April of President Bingu wa Mutharika. The group,
which includes Mutharika own brother Prof. Peter Mutharika, former Information Minister Patricia Kaliati and Mutharika’s Guard Commander Duncan Mwapasa,
allegedly plotted to stage a coup to prevent then Vice-President Joyce Banda from assuming power as stipulated in the Constitution.
Others arrested alongside Mutharika are Joyce Banda’s current Economic Planning and Development Minister Goodall Gondwe, who was Mutharika Finance Minister,
and her Chief Secretary Bright Msaka, who was also Chief Secretary in the former regime. Others are former Local Government Minister Henry Mussa, former
Youth Minister Symon Vuwa Kaunda, former Health Minister Jean Kalirani, former Presidential Affairs Minister Nicholas Dausi, former deputy Foreign Affairs
and deputy Chief Secretary to the Government Necton Mhura.
Kaphale said that Gondwe, 77, and former Health Minister Jean Kalirani collapsed in police cell Monday night and had to be rushed to hospital.
“They are still in hospital but in stable condition,” he said.
Meanwhile, hundreds of supporters of the former ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) thronged the Lilongwe Magistrates Courts where the group was
expected to appear in court for the eleven were expected to appear in court. The supporters, mostly clad in the party blue colours, became agitated when the
group failed to appear.
They poured into the streets pelting vehicles and blocking roads with tree branches and boulders.
Police fired teargas to restore order. A police officer and four party supporters were injured during the running battles
© 2013, Raphael Tenthani. All rights reserved. Newstime Africa content cannot be reproduced in any form – electronic or print – without prior consent of the Publishers. Copyright infringement will be pursued and perpetrators prosecuted.