The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is under scathing attack from rights grouping who are accusing the party of allowing its followers to terrorize those with dissenting views.
Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) and Centre for Development of People (Cedep says in a statement that the organizations have learnt with shock the return of political terror under the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) regime which is reminiscent of the shrinking political space during the period spanning 2009-2012 where the parading of Panga knives in the streets of Blantyre by DPP youth cadets was the order of the day.
They said to date no one has been held accountable on this.
“Nevertheless, Malawians thought that this militant behaviour was a thing of the past especially after the sweet promises of a transformed DPP government. However, if recent developments in Mzuzu and Chitipa are anything to go by, then the assertions that DPP has changed is nothing but mere rhetoric,” reads the statement.
The organizations say within few days, there have been media reports of DPP members assaulting an innocent citizen in Mzuzu; attempting to disrupt Peoples Party (PP) political rally in Chitipa and damaging business property of citizens perceived to be supporters of opposition political parties in Limbe, Blantyre.
“Informed by these sad and retrogressive developments, we at CHRR and Cedep strongly condemn the behaviour by the DPP. Such kind of barbaric conducts have no place in a modern Malawi where human rights for all ought to be respected and protected every single day,” says the statement.
The two organizations are however saying the terror DPP members have recently resorted to could be part of ill-advised tactics by the ruling party to silence critical voices in light of the serious economic and political challenges the country is currently facing.
“Or, should we safely assert that this is just one of the many public attention-diversion ‘brain-children’ by the President Prof. Peter Mutharika government machinery? We wonder, and sadly, so. More disturbing is DPP’s leadership failure to condemn this unbecoming behaviour by its membership but instead resolving to shift the blame on other political parties without providing any substantive evidence to prove to the contrary.”
The organizations says what the DPP officials need to know is that whatever this terror being visited upon innocent citizens intends to achieve can surely not bode well with the democracy gains the country has registered.
“It’s a big minus. No one deserves to be persecuted on political grounds,” says the statement.
But DPP spokesman Francis Kasaila said the party youth were not involved in the violence, claiming they were supporters of other parties putting on DPP colours.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :