- Former Malawi President Bakili Muluzi is defying a rally ban imposed on him by police saying he will continue with the 2009 general elections campaign despite efforts to stop him.
Mr Muluzi who is under house arrest and was released on bail on Friday, five days after his arrest for allegedly plotting a coup to the current government, saw his home raided by police on Sunday, barring him from attending a rally in the township of Ndirande.
Police went a step further in firing tear gas to break up the supporter's crowd that gathered for Mr Muluzi, saying the gathering was illegal, as it did not follow right procedures. In retaliation, supporters threw stones at riot police at the rally in a township.
"I can't just be locked up in this house, I'm a presidential candidate for the 2009 elections and I have to go around and campaign," he was quoted as saying by the BBC.
Mr Muluzi was Malawi's President from 1994 to 2004, ruling in an authoritarian way, and wants to stand in next year`s election against President Bingu wa Mutharika. In April, Mr Muluzi won a contest to be named the presidential candidate of the United Democratic Front (UDF) in the next polls.
President Mutharika accused his predecessor last month of being behind a plot to remove him from office by 16 May this year. President Mutharika was elected as the UDF candidate in 2004 but soon fell out with Mr Muluzi and formed his own party, saying his former political associates were opposed to his anti-corruption drive.
When Muluzi was arrested on Sunday, his security officers were disarmed and told not to be reporting for duty anymore, but Malawian High Court on Friday reversed the order saying they should be reinstated and those who were now guarding Muluzi's home to leave immediately.
As Malawi elections are approaching, violence and intimidation on political leaders and civilians is intensifying.
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