Thyolo Chiefs tell JB: ‘ Violence unacceptable’

Traditional leaders from Thyolo on Wednesday met President Joyce Banda at Sanjika  Palace where they conveyed their apologies for the fracas that erupted during a rally she addressed on Sunday at Goliati in Thyolo.

Speaking on behalf of Senior Chief Chimaliro, Traditional Authority Khwethemule said they were touched with what had transpired at the rally in their presence as well as the head of state.

The traditional leader said an investigation they conducted found out that the suspected brutes were not from the area alleging that they were disgruntled after the rally they thought would flop attracted a huge crowd.

Goliati area is what others consider a stronghold of the Democratic Progressive Party because its leader comes from the area.

A cross section of traditional leaders from Thyolo who called on President Joyce Banda at sanjika palace on the violence that happened at Goliati in the district last sunday -Pic by Francis Mphweya,-Mana

A cross section of traditional leaders from Thyolo who called on President Joyce Banda at sanjika palace on the violence that happened at Goliati in the district last sunday -Pic by Francis Mphweya,-Mana

“Zomwe anachita anthuwa zaonetsa chithunzithunzi choipa mmaso mwa President ndi chifukwa chake tabwera kuti tidzapepese komanso kunenetsa kuti ife tinalibepo gawo pazimenezi (through their actions they have shown a bad picture of Thyolo in the eyes of the state president and that’s why we came to apologise and distance ourselves from the whole saga),” said T/A Khwethemule.

He added that they believe that the people that were causing the unrest were sent from other areas because they had a peaceful night after the security personnel calmed the situation which cost the life of a police officer and one civilian, injuring others who were at the venue in their official capacities.

While echoing Khwethemule’s remarks, T/A Nsabwe called on the President not to sideline them in developmental programmes which she has already started in the district.

“ We don’t take for granted projects government is undertaking in Thyolo that’s why we are apologising from deep down our hearts and you madam president are free to hold rallies anywhere in the district and be assured that you have our support,” said Nsabwe.

President Joyce Banda said what transpired on Sunday was a sad development because those that lost their lives were key to development in their areas and apologised to the concerned families.

She said she was encouraged by the traditional leaders’ visit because it showed their concern and she assured them that she could not draw boundaries as to which areas she would detach herself from.

Banda  asked political leaders in the country not to put lives of Malawians at risk by propagating violence in the country and that traditional leaders should take a leading role in sensitizing their subjects against the same.

This was the third time in the last three years that the district has been involved in the act of violence with the DPP being the suspected perpetrators. The other time in 2011 the United Democratic Front President Atupele Muluzi had his convoy ambushed when he was giving former president, Bingu wa Mutharika a hard time.

Following the Thyolo fracas, DPP organising Chairman, Ben Phiri was manhandled by unknown assailants at Mount Soche Hotel in Blantyre on Monday night a development DPP claims was masterminded by PP in retaliation to the Thyolo incident.

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