Again, political violence showed its ugly face when suspected opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) supporters stoned people and smashed car windscreens at a development rally addressed by President Joyce Banda at Goliati Primary School in Senior Chief Chimaliro’s area in Thyolo on Sunday.
DPP President and presidential candidate in the May 20, 2014 tripartite elections, Peter Mutharika comes from this area.
The DPP supporters are said to have started stoning PP after Health Minister Gotani Hara was judged to have tongue lashed Peter Mutharika
A police officer identified as Supt. Julius Jailosi was hacked to death and another cop is battling for his life.
Two People’s Party (PP) members, Peter Chasweka and Patrick January suffered deep cuts on their heads following extensive pelting of stones.
A PP Nissan Voxy, registration number BS 3879 used by the governing PP Provincial Chairperson for Southern Region, Isaac Nyakamera, and other PP and Government vehicles were bashed and windows shattered, injuring most of the occupants.
A Toyota PRADO, registration number MG 927, belonging to the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) was also extensively damaged and the particles of a broken windscreen seriously injured the eyes of two MBC journalists, Ronald Amos and Lorraine Kalilombe.
Director of Programmes at MBC, Hamilton Chimala confirmed the incident in an interview with Nyasa Times on Sunday. He explained the two MBC employees were rushed to the Lions Eye Hospital at Queen Elizabeth Central for treatment.
Chief Chimaliro’s house has also reportedly been demolished by the DPP Cadets because the Chief spoke highly of President Banda for building him the house.
Special Advisor to the President on Communication and Politics, Wakuda Kamanga told Nyasa Times in an interview that the DPP is intent at instilling fear in the people ahead of the tripartite elections on May 20.
“What they want to do is to force people to support them. The violence today is uncalled for and we condemn the DPP and its leadership in the strongest terms. We don’t want primitive politics that characterized the DPP reign between 2009 and 2011 to return,” said Kamanga.
Kamanga said Malawians have vivid memories of the “pain, anguish, suffering and death” following the July 20, 2010 DPP-perpetrated violence and that they would not wish to see that “barbarism” again.
“Malawians witnessed some of the worst political violence under Mutharika and the DPP that time. We all know that houses of human rights and political activists were burnt in the middle of the night.
Malawians remember how the Head of State then would challenge his own citizens to dare go into the street as he would deal with them. Bingu wa Mutharika had the audacity to tell purported detractors that he would ‘smoke them out’ and ordered the police to ‘shoot to kill’. Let’s all say no to the return of these ugly happenings,” said Kamanga.
This is not the first time the DPP is suspected to have perpetrated violence against the PP. In April 2011 when the late President Bingu wa Mutharika was buried at his private Ndata Farm in the same area, several PP members suffered varied injuries.
DPP secretary general Jean Kalilani said the violent thugs were not members of her party but declined to comment further.
President Banda was at Goliati on Sunday to officially ‘switch on’ electricity at Chimaliro Health Centre following a request Senior Chief Chimaliro made to President Banda a few weeks ago. The President told the gathering that to reduce maternal and other deaths, the traditional leader had requested that the health facility be electrified.
“I am happy that today, our hospital has electricity and that mother shall no longer give birth,” said President Banda, who also pledged an ambulance would soon be dispatched there.
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