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Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has accused Homeland Security Minister Ken Zikhale-Ng’oma of using Malawi Police Service (MPS) to silence business opponents while settling political scores.

Zikhale-Ng’oma who is also Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Strategist has been named in one of party cadres theft recently happened in Salima.

Addressing the news conference on Friday, August 25, 2023, CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa observes that Zikhale-Ng’oma has grown wings beyond his mandate as a minister by using MCP cadres in commiting various crimes in the country.

Namiwa adds that Malawi democracy is under siege whereby state organs are being used to settle political scores which needs to be checked.

“The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) hereby warns Malawians that, if left unchecked, Homeland Security Minister, Hon Ken Zikhale-Ng’oma will drag this country into a Police State.

“All may wish to know that what started as an operation to enforce the encampment policy for refugees and asylumseekers has now culminated into lawlessness and, to say the least,total disregard for the rule of law.In fact, the country’s hardearned democracy is now under threat,” says Namiwa.

To put it bluntly, Zikhale-Ng’oma has taken the law into his hands and he is worryingly conducting himself as if he is the law himself.

He is putting his wishes into laws.

That said, CDEDI wishes to cite the following incidences in support of its fears against Hon Zikhale-Ngo’oma’s ‘laws’:

In May this year, the police arrested two of their own namely; Eluby Malombe and Molly Makomela, both Criminal Investigations Officers at the Police Headquarters at Area 30 in Lilongwe, and were later charged by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), for allegedly receiving a bribe of MK20 million from a Rwandan businessman in order to release his container of agricultural produce which the police had confiscated. The two are currently on interdiction.

In June this year, the police arrested someone suspected to be Vincent Ngendahayo, one of the
purported 44 Rwandan Army Generals who sought refuge in Malawi.

Upon arrival in Kigali, Rwanda, following his deportation, it transpired that the Malawi Police had attached the name to a wrong person.

In fact, Ngendayo and his compatriot Mark Sibo were deported against a High Court order to release them from unlawful detention.

More recently, a team of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) cadres and plain clothed police officers, again, from the National Police Headquarters were allegedly caught on camera stuffing money into a sack from a shop belonging to naturalized Malawian, Emmanuel Joseph
Nsekanabo.

So far, only three MCP youths have been arrested and charged with robbery, and nothing is being heard about the police officers that were caught on the camera.

“Strangely, Nsekanabo, who was naturalised in 2011 under certificate number IM/HA/93/2011 is facing deportation.Malawians may also wish to know that Nsekanabo’s harassment and subsequent arrest was marred with verbal tirade from two MCP youth camps serving two heavy weights within the rank and file of the party. Strong allegations were made in the process and names were mentioned.

“According to court documents and voice notes CDEDI has seen and heard respectively, one of these groups of MCP cadres allegedly belongs to the Director of Youth (DoY) Hon Richard Chiwemwendo Banda, who is also Minister of Local Government and Unity while theother belongs to the party’s Director of Strategy, who is none other than Hon Zikhale-Ng’oma, the Homeland Security minister,” says Namiwa.

He added, “Following the leakage of the CCTV footage, here below are quick facts capturing the events surrounding Nsekanabo’s torture and harassment. On July 25th, Nsekanabo’s shop was raided and he was hauled into a Toyota Land Cruiser to Lingadzi Police Station in Lilongwe.

“He was released the following day on police bail, but he claims that out of the millions seen on the camera, the Area 30 Police only gave back MK10,624,000.00”.

On July 26, 2023, officers from the Department of Immigration and Citizen Services descended on him and his wife and confiscated their passports, national identity cards and Nsekanabo’s certificate of registration as a citizen.

On July 28, 2023 a deportation order was issued at the Immigration Department in Lilongwe.

Nsekanabo was earmarked for the next available flight, but suddenly, someone realised the need to do the ‘right thing’.

The Immigration Department launched a man-hunt for him. As this was happening, the police arrested three MCP cadres who appeared before the Principal Magistrate Court in Lilongwe.

However, the identifiable police officers are still discharging their duties at Area 30.

In their caution statement, the suspects spilled the beans to the effect that it is now clear that Nsekanabo will have to appear before the same court as a State witness.

Meanwhile, some unidentified people intensified his search, baying for his blood on top of the deportation order.

Although the Immigration Department is combing every corner of Salima in search of Nsekanabo, three families, namely Vincent Niyiongera, Cassim Nguhichi and Halimana Pascalo, with whom he was naturalizedin 2011, are living freely elsewhere in thecountry.

Given this scenario, one wonders if it is wrong at this juncture to suspect that something is going on wrong between Nsekanabo and Hon. Zikhale-Ng’oma, which Malawians ought to know.

And, indeed, if the above incidences and events are anything to go by, then would it be wrong to conclude that Hon.

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Zikhale-Ng’oma is at liberty to sanction whoever he deems fit to carry out a task in total disregardof laws of the land?

Secondly, who would not be tempted to believe that Hon Zikhale-Ng’oma has so much power that he can decide who should be arrested, whether or
not they have committed a crime?

If it were not for the minister’s intervention, surely, the police that raided Nsekanabo’s Shop in Salima should have been the first to be arrested, since their whereabouts could have been easily traced by their colleagues, unlike the party cadres who had to be hunted.

At this point, it is clear that by virtue ofbeing the political head of the of Homeland Security ministry, Hon. Zikhale-Ng’oma has the whim to use civilians to carry out errands which both the Police Act and the Immigration Act preserve for the trained men and women in uniform.

Similarly, the minister has given himself powers to bypass the courts and extradite his enemies, and enemies of his friends and business rivals, as and when it pleases him to do so.

And, indeed, if he remains unchecked, what will stop the now becoming extremely powerful Zikhale Ng’oma from unleashing party cadres to torture unsuspecting citizens he is not in good books with?

After all, the perpetrators, be it in the Malawi Police Service or MCP, are assured of his protection.

Such being the case, then what is the use of thelaw if one, in the name of Zikhale Ng’oma, can accrue such powers?

In view of the aforementioned, CDEDI has thus far written the Malawi Law Society (MLS) to intervene on the matter.

Meanwhile, CDEDI is challenging the MCP Secretary General, Eisenhower Mkaka to weigh in and slow down Zikhale-Ng’oma, as his conduct is reminding Malawians of the notorious Youth League and the Malawi Young Pioneers, thereby reflecting negatively on the rebranded MCP.

“We are also appealing to the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) to dutifully do the needful before the country plunges into a police State.

“It is, in fact, strange to note that religious institutions in
Malawi have particularly remained quiet on the gross violations of rights of fellow Africans living with us in this country, notably refugees and asylum-seekers,” he added.

Namiwa appeals, “The Parliamentary Committee on Defence and Security should consider probing the Salima incident where the culprits were caught on camera, and at the same time summon Hon. Zikhale Ng’oma to justify his role in the Salima incident.

“We appeal to all media houses in the country to accord Malawians the right to access information by applying to the court for permission to broadcast live the case which is before the Lilongwe Registry, since it is of public interest”.

Zikhale-Ng’oma is yet to respond on the accusations leveled against by CDEDI.

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