Mponela resident arrested for insulting Malawi President on WhatsApp group


Sainani Nkhoma is in police custody in Mponela on suspicion that he wrote words carrying offensive insults against President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera on a WhatsApp group.

Nkhoma is suspected to have made a comment on a picture of President Chakwera seeming to be dancing on TikTok carrying offensive language on May 5, 2024, on the ‘Mponela Hotspot WhatsApp’ group, the words which did not go well with other members of the forum.

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) members were alerted and in sooner, they mobilized themselves to go to Sainani Nkhoma’s house at around 7;30 pm on Tuesday night to arrest him and brought him before police officers at Mponela where a statement was recorded and was locked into custody.

Meanwhile, Mponela Police Station’s Publicist Macpatson Msadala says he should be given more time before he responds to the media news.

The suspect, Sainani Nkhoma hails from Chikuti 3 village in the area of Inkosi Mponela in the district.

His arrest has become a subject of discussion by Mponela residents that the man indeed deserves to be arrested and charged for the offense as a lesson to the would-be offenders.

Mai Estery Mwale, a restaurant owner at Mponela Trading Center has reminded Malawians that if there was a president who was insulted and castigated left and right in Malawi is Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika but at no time, did he arrest anyone during his tenure of office.
She has also reminded Malawians of President Chakwera’s speech made at the Presidential breakfast when he interacted with media managers at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe that he has never ordered anyone to arrest anyone.
“I hope these MCP members have made the arrests by themselves not ordered by anyone, Sainani Nkhoma deserves to be forgiven and receive guidance and counseling for committing an offense unknowingly,” she said.
The woman said memories are still fresh that President Chakwera ordered for the release of a man of Ndirande Township in Blantyre who threw a stone at the presidential motorcade when President Chakwera was rushing to Chileka International Airport to board a plane to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
According to the o prohibition of the Offensive Communication Act, ”Any person who willfully and repeatedly uses electronic communication to disturb or attempts to disturb peace, quietness or right of privacy of any person with no purpose of legitimate communication whether or not a conversation ensues, commits a misdemeanor and shall, upon conviction, be liable to a fine of K1 million and to imprisonment for twelve months.

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