LILONGWE—State prosecutors no longer wish to purse a case against five activists, arrested for protesting against the regime of the late president Bingu wa Mutharika in October, 2011.
But it’s not over for Ben Chiza Mkandawire, Billy Mayaya, Brian Nyasulu, Habiba Osman and her cousin Comfort Chitseko until they say so.
The five, who demonstrated as Malawi was hosting a Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) summit, want compensation from the government.
Said Wapona Kita, attorney representing the five who were held for five days: “We’ve written to the Attorney General to seek compensation on false imprisonment.”
It’s not clear at this time how much they want from the state.
Mutharika died while in office in April this year after suffering a heart attack. After winning reelection in a landslide in 2009 for his final five year term, Mutharika changed and started exhibiting dictatorial tendencies.
He signed into law controversial measures which observers said were a throwback to the dictatorial regime of Kamuzu Banda, Malawi’s first president who ruled for 30 years since independence in 1964.
Growing discontent with his rule – a worsening economy and rights abuses - led to nationwide anti-government protests which left 19 people dead in July last year.
The five activists who are seeking compensation were part of the chorus that called on Mutharika to change his autocratic ways.
©2012 The Maravi Post. Reproduction authorised, with usual acknowledgment.