Today, on 18 May 1992, a strike for better working conditions by employees at National Bank of Malawi in Blantyre, commenced and run for three days.
A day after the strike ended, on the 21 May 1992, a bank employee named Mrs Mitinda was arrested. On the following day, Winfrey Mphande was also arrested with about 18 more employees of the bank picked up on about 28 May 1992.
All these were mainly suspected of having received or kept anti-government documents in their offices. Also detained in the same month of May 1992 on similar charges or suspicion were:
- All employees in the entire computer section of the power utility company called Electricity Supply Commission of Malawi (ESCOM);
- Two individuals working for a company called Business Machines;
- One person working for a company called Intertec Contracting;
- One worker at Olivetti.
From the early 1990s, the anti-one party state literature were imported and circulated in Malawi through fax to strategically targeted workplaces thus effectively going round the problem of government interception of postal mail, telephone conversations and publications.
To close down this loophole, from mid May 1992, the police embarked on heavy crack down on fax and photocopy machine operators and others at various workplaces, many of whom were arrested, harassed and tortured for either being found in possession or facilitating the clandestine dissemination of the literature deemed seditious.