Malawi activist pleads not guilty

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The Independent Online
HARARE (AFP) - Thousands of supporters thronged the Blantyre High Court yesterday as Chakufwa Chihana, a democracy activist, pleaded not guilty to four charges of sedition, his lawyer said.

'There was a sea of people outside the courtroom chanting praise and support for Chihana,' Bazuka Mahango said by telephone from Malawi. The lawyer said the trade unionist and leader of the Alliance for Democracy (Aford) also pleaded not guilty to a charge of breaching public security regulations.

This charge relates to his return to Malawi on 6 April after announcing to a meeting of exiles that he would press for democratic change in the one-party state that has been ruled for the past 28 years by its President, Kamuzu Banda.