The Malawi government says investigations are ongoing to arrest more people who allegedly plotted to overthrow President Bingu wa Mutharika’s administration. This comes after several opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) members were arrested over their involvement in the alleged coup plot. The UDF said the investigations are a political gimmick, saying it has information that former President Bakili Muluzi would soon be arrested. Some political analysts say the arrests threaten ongoing peace negotiations between the government and the opposition aimed at resolving the ongoing political impasse, which analysts said is derailing vital international donor programs essential to Malawi’s economy.
Ernest Malenga is Malawi’s minister for internal security. From the capital, Lilongwe he tells reporter Peter Clottey that whoever plans to overthrow the government is liable to be questioned by the security agencies.
“The latest development is that investigations are still going on. The people are still being interrogated in order to enhance the evidence of the plot to stage a coup. And so far, we are still waiting for the outcome of the investigations,” Malenga noted.
He said there is no correlation between the ongoing coup investigation and the current impasse in parliament.
“The matter in parliament concerning Section 65 and the coup plot are not one and the same. They are totally different issues. And you will notice that the section of the people who are being questioned they are a group not technically affected with Section 65 in this country. The section 65 is for the politicians; the matter being investigated is the results of the findings of the Malawi security system is something that has got to do with the plans to topple the government by unlawful means,” he said.
Malenga said it is treasonous for anybody to plot an overthrow of any administration.
“What is true is that we are investigating a coup plot, whose evidence has been established for a quite a while. It’s not something that has been established yesterday. It is an issue, which has been unearthed after observation of certain activities, which were not conducive for the safety of the country,” Malenga pointed out.
He reiterated that anybody who was part of the plot to overthrow President Mutharika’s administration has a case to answer to investigators.
“What I would say is that investigations are continuing. But whoever would be mentioned, be it myself, I would be called to give my bit of explanation if my name finds its position in the coup plot. So, whoever comes in and is connected to this coup plot would be questioned and appropriately handled,” he said.
Malenga said it would not be right to give any details of the ongoing alleged coup investigation.
“When investigations are being carried out, it is not right to give in to speculations. Of course I’m not in the investigations team, I am briefed as we go along. But I’m not able to give you the position at the moment because I am waiting for the finalities of the investigation,” Malenga noted.