CHAPTER III: State Terrorism – Detention and Complicity

Chapter 3:
State Terrorism – Detention and Complicity

3.1 Malawi’s Nelson Mandela
3.2 Who is being picked up – regionalism
3.3 Getting picked up
3.4 Torture and brutality
3.5 Conditions
3.6 Getting out

“I lived through the events of that time. It was State terrorism that we were subjected to and I will never live to forget it.”
Professor Kings Phiri gave us the title for this chapter. The deep-seated fear of arbitrary detention permeated the entire population of Malawi and throughout the 30-year period was an integral component of the regime’s control mechanism. State terrorism was fuelled by the regime’s paranoia, which in turn was reinforced by an infrastructure that profited from keeping that paranoia alive. Paid informers and Special Branch police, the Malawi Young Pioneers (MYP), party youth in their red shirts, the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Women’s League and later Cecilia Kadzamira’s creature, the Chitikuko Cha Amayi M’Malawi (CCAM)*, all reinforced their positions, access to power and money by keeping the state of fear alive. Many were trained in the latest techniques of torture and intimidation by Israeli, South African, Rhodesian, Taiwanese and British special operatives.