• Campaigns

UA 11/93 - Malawi: fear of ill-treatment / legal concern: Chakakala Chaziya, Khoswe, Johnson and a driver

, Index number: AFR 36/006/1993

Chakakala Chaziya, a former Minister of Finance and bank governor and now vice-chairman of the opposition United Democratic Front party, was arrested in Lilongwe on 5 Janyary 1993, the day after he was accused of being involved with a news magazine published by exiled government opponents. The magazine did not advocate violence and appears to have no connection with the UDF or with Chakakala Chaziya. The three others named above, whose full names are not known to AI, were arrested two or three days before Chakakala Chaziya. They were apparently accused of having copies of the same magazine. All are held without charge in Maula prison.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AFR 36/06/93
Distr: UA/SC
UA 11/93 Fear of ill-treatment/legal concern 15 January 1993
MALAWI: Chakakala Chaziya, opposition leader
Khoswe, businessman
Johnson, opposition activist
and a driver
Chakakala Chaziya, vice-chairman of the opposition United Democratic Front (UDF)
party, was arrested at his home in the Malawian capital of Lilongwe on 5 January
1993. He was arrested the day after an official of the ruling Malawi Congress Party
(MCP) publicly accused him of being involved with a news magazine critical of the
government, which was published anonymously by exile government opponents and smuggled
into Malawi. The magazine did not advocate violence and appears to have no connection
with the UDF or Chakakala Chaziya himself.
Chakakala Chaziya was a Minister of Finance and bank governor during the 1980s.
The three other prisoners mentioned above (whose full names are not known to Amnesty
International) were arrested two or three days before Chakakala Chaziya. A vehicle
owned by Khoswe (a businessman in Lilongwe) was reportedly stopped by police at a
roadblock and the two occupants - Johnson (described as a local UDF activist) and
the driver - were arrested. The owner was arrested the next day. They were apparently
accused of having copies of the same opposition news magazine in the vehicle for
distribution. The police reportedly allege a connection between them and Chakakala
Chaziya.
All four are held in Maula prison in Lilongwe without charge or any official
explanation. Chakakala Chaziya has reportedly been allowed a visit from his family
and his lawyer has applied for habeas corpus. Conditions in Maula prison are harsh
and there are fears that these prisoners could be tortured or ill-treated.
Amnesty International believes that Chakakala Chaziya is a prisoner of conscience
imprisoned for his non-violent political activities as a leading campaigner for a
multi-party system. The other three also appear to be prisoners of conscience
imprisoned for their opinions and as part of a government attempt to restrict
opposition campaigning.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
On 31 December 1992 Life-President Kamuzu Banda announced that a referendum would
be held on 15 March 1993 on whether or not to retain the one-party system. Two opposition
parties, the Alliance for Democracy (AFORD) and the United Democratic Front (UDF),
now have offices in Malawi and although an earlier AFORD rally in Blantyre on 20
December 1992 resulted in numerous arrests, a recent joint AFORD/UDF rally in Blantyre
on 11 January 1993 passed off without incident. However, the continued imprisonment
of AFORD chairman Chakufwa Chihana (see UA 114/92, AFR 36/09/92, 6 April 1992, and
the most recent follow-up of 14 January 1993, AFR 36/04/93) and this recent arrest
of the UDF vice-chairman indicate restrictions on opposition activities in campaigning
for the referendum.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/airmail letters either in
English or in your own language:
- expressing concern that Chakakala Chaziya has been arrested and is being held without
charge, and that three others are similarly held in custody in connection with the
same case;
- requesting information on the reasons and legal basis for their arrests;
Page 2 of UA 11/93
- seeking assurances that all four prisoners are being treated humanely and urging
that they be given regular access to their families and lawyers, and medical treatment
if needed;
- appealing for the immediate and unconditional release of Chakakala Chaziya as a
prisoner of conscience imprisoned for his non-violent political activities;
- calling also for the immediate release of the other three if they are not charged
with committing any offence of a recognizably criminal nature.
APPEALS TO
1) H E The Life-President Ngwazi Dr H. Kamuzu Banda
Office of the President and Cabinet
Private Bag 301
Lilongwe 3
Malawi
Telegrams: Life President Banda, Lilongwe, Malawi
Telexes: 44389 PRES MI, 44766 JUSTICE MI, 44113 EXTERNAL MI
Faxes: + 265 731878
Salutation: Your Excellency
2) The Hon. John Tembo
Minister of the State
Office of the President
P/Bag 301
Lilongwe 3
Malawi
Telegrams: Minister of State Tembo, Lilongwe, Malawi
Telexes: 44389 PRES MI, 44766 JUSTICE MI, 44113 EXTERNAL MI
Faxes: + 265 731878
Salutation: Dear Minister
3) Inspector-General MacWilliam Lunguzi
Malawi Police Headquarters
P/Bag 305
Lilongwe 3
Malawi
Telegrams: Inspector-General of Police Lunguzi, Lilongwe, Malawi
Salutation: Dear Sir
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:
1) Commissioner Mwale
Malawi Prison Service Headquarters
P O Box 28
Zomba
Malawi
2) The Officer-in-Command
Maula Prison
P/Bag 130
Lilongwe
Malawi
3) The Malawi Law Society
P/Bag 2420
Blantyre
Malawi
4) Newspaper:
The Editor
Daily Times
P/Bag 39
Blantyre
Malawi
and to diplomatic representatives of Malawi accredited to your country
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your
section office, if sending appeals after 26 February 1993.

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