Mutharika’s aide ‘beaten up’, hospitalised: Malawi political violence

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) president Peter Mutharika’s special aide Ben Phiri is in a bad state after being beaten by thugs on Monday.

DPP Director of Elections Kondwani Nankhumwa told Nyasa Times that Phiri was abducted by the assailants who took him for beating and then dumped him at Kamba in Blantyre City, leaving him severely injured.

According to Nankhumwa, the thugs are members of the ruling People’s Party (PP).

“Phiri was at Mount Soche Hotel with Nicholas Dausi where they were preparing the party’s press statement. From nowhere, a group of PP agents led by Lemani Chapitapita came into the business center and beat up Dausi before they lifted Phiri and abducted him.

Ben Phiri: Beaten up

Ben Phiri: Beaten up

“After beating him up, they dumped him at Kudya and thanks to well-wishers who discovered him and e rushed him to  Mwaiwathu hospital after passing out. He is in critical condition,” he said.

According to Nankhumwa, the issue has already been reported to Blantyre Police where a Dausi’s statement has already been taken.

PP secretary general Paul Maulidi told Nyasa Times, that the beating is unacceptable.

“If it is true then it is too bad, I  condemn any kind of violence, I couldn’t be part and parcel of this,” he said.

Maulidi refused to comment about the PP involvement in the attack.

Phiri’s attack come after t wo people were killed late on Sunday in a clash between supporters of PP and DPP , triggering concerns that violence could mar the build-up to national elections in May.

A police officer and a civilian died in what police said was an ambush that followed a rally by President Joyce Banda in the tea-growing district of Thyolo.

The area is a stronghold of DPP  led by Peter Mutharika, brother of former President Bingu wa Mutharika, who died of a heart attack in 2012.

Malawi is due to go to the polls on May 20 in what are expected to be closely contested presidential, parliamentary and local elections.

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