Malawi activists ‘call arrests a government ploy’

The two Malawian rights activists detained over alleged fraud have denied the charges, a friend of theirs has told reporter Peter Jegwa.

Gift Trapence and MacDonald Sembereka
Gift Trapence and MacDonald Sembereka

The activists, Gift Trapence and MacDonald Sembereka, have been key figures behind nationwide protests demanding the resignation of the head of election management body, Jane Ansah.

National police spokesman, James Kadadzera, says the two are suspected to have received money from UNAids to organise a workshop, but that the workshop did not take place.

The two say their arrest is a ploy by government to silence them.

Mr Trapence and Rev Sembereka are key leaders of the Human Rights Defenders Coalition which has been organising demonstrations demanding electoral justice.

They believe the Malawi Electoral Commission mismanaged last May’s polls and want its head, Jane Ansah to step down or be fired.

They were due to hold a press conference on Wednesday to announce next course of action in view of Ms Ansah still being in the job after the latest round of protests last Friday. BBC News