Distressing reports reaching Shire Times’ Editorial Desk indicate that some few misguided and overzealous soldiers from the Malawi Defense Force (MDF) at Chirumba Barracks have kidnapped a local citizen named Lyton Mangochi in Karonga.
This news is deeply troubling and represents an assault on our hard-earned democracy that President Chakwera is working hard to preserve after redeeming it from a brutal regime that DPP was.
President Chakwera has also redeemed the image of the party that is MCP which he leads from what a narrative from the ancient indicates that it was undemocratic and brutal.
Although this incident is equally a shocking news to the regime minders including the ruling Malawi Congress Party (MCP), it is a logical expectation that the party and regime minders need to intervene with proper action against these overzealous soldiers including condemnation of this behaviour.
This is particularly important because the MDF agents cannot be allowed to reign such undemocratic actions on the country without being put to check. The MDF command structure has already expressed commitment to investigate the matter and put the concerned soldiers on a deserving tough disciplinary action. This must be complemented by regime minders with condemnation of this terrific behaviour.
According to information gathered by the Shire Times, Mr. Mangochi’s supposed offense was releasing an audio recording expressing his concerns about the mistreatment of citizens by MDF soldiers stationed at Chirumba Barracks.
Mr. Mangochi alleged that individuals transporting their harvested crops, such as maize, from one location to another were being subjected to beatings, possibly due to mistaken suspicions of smuggling agricultural produce to neighboring Tanzania.
He pleaded with President Chakwera to address this issue and put an end to the unjust treatment, as the dignity of the people is at stake due to the brutal behavior exhibited by MDF soldiers towards fellow citizens of our nation.
The question arises: What was wrong with this message? Here we have a citizen exercising their right to freedom of expression as enshrined in the 1994 republican constitution. What could be objectionable about that?
The criminally-oriented behaviour displayed by the MDF is unacceptable in a democratic society.
The responsible Minister, Harry Mkandawire, must act swiftly to ensure the immediate release of Mr. Mangochi from this senseless detention. If Mr. Mangochi has violated any laws, it is the responsibility of the police to arrest, charge, and prosecute him in a competent court of law.
We are not in Honduras, where the government agents used to engage in the practice of making people disappear. Such actions are unlawful and criminal. No justification within the framework of our democratic society can be deemed acceptable for what has just occurred. Free Mr. Mangochi now!