Authorities must investigate Chaponda’s MCP training militias allegations – Kajoloweka

Human rights activist Charles Kajoloweka has said repeated allegations by Mulanje South West lawmaker, George Chaponda, that Malawi Congress Party (MCP) is training party militias as its paramilitary wing at Mtakataka Police Training School in Dedza should no longer be taken with a pinch of salt but rather be fodder enough for national security authorities to seriously probe the matter saying it is no longer a joke.

In his contribution to the Mid-Year Budget Review in the National Assembly, Chaponda who has been named as Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) shadow cabinet announced Friday by Speaker Catherine Gotani Hara, said MCP had devised a number of strategies to revert the country back to the one-party state and that recruitment of the party’s youth into government security agencies is one of them.

Kajoloweka: Kajoloweka: Investigate Chaponda claims

“These are not wild allegations. Go to Mtakataka Police Training School today; you will see several of the MCP youths training there. And if we are not careful, as a country, we will soon find ourselves back to those days when Malawi was under one-party system,” he had told journalists outside parliament.

And, during the recent media briefing by former President Peter Mutharika at his PAGE House in Mangochi, Chaponda repeated his claims that MCP was training its carders in military activities in Mtakataka, Dedza.

Kajoloweka, who is executive director of Youth and Society (YAS), told Nyasa Times in an interview that Chaponda’s utterances needed to be handled with the seriousness they deserve.

“When he first made this allegation in Parliament a couple of months ago, I thought it was just one of those insensitive political jokes, and of course, abuse of immunities MPs enjoy when in session. I was wrong. The man seems so convinced and serious about this allegation. Undoubtedly, most DPP officials and members believe this narrative too.

“As a party, MCP may choose to ignore the allegations. Free will. But national security authorities have no choice but to investigate such grave allegations and take clear position. Hon Chaponda holds a public office as a Member of Parliament, and is a senior member of the main opposition party. His allegations concerning national security should be taken seriously by authorities. Security authorities should engage him to prove his allegations or he must shut up,” said Kajoloweka.

Earlier in April, a purported investigative report by unknown authors that trended on social media also alleged that MCP used part of the K6.2 billion and K17 billion of Covid money to train 162 party militias as its paramilitary wing with a view to bring back repressive regime.

The report had alleged that the first cohort entered the training school on 7 March 2021 and underwent a six-week training on how to use firearms. The second cohort started training on 4 April 2021.

“The report seeks to share with Malawians, whose tax is being wasted by the Chakwera-led government in training of MCP youths as militias (Special Police), for this is against the laws of Malawi and poses security threat to the neighbouring countries, donor communities, the intelligence agency, Malawi Army, Malawi Police and the citizens at large,” it said.

The unidentified authors of the report claimed that they had carried an enquiry since MCP started hatching the plan of training its youths in December 2020 in Mangochi as Special Police at Chikoko Bay where the MCP inner circle had met President Chakwera.

They said their investigations had continued on 7th March, 2021, when a group of 72 MCP youths entered Mtakataka PTS.

“Their phones were confiscated upon arrival at the police base and they were given back to them on the day they were returning home. The group of 72 civilians included the famous and notorious youths from Msundwe in Lilongwe, celebrated as Msundwe Barracks who were at the forefront of horrible demonstrations which took Place in Malawi in 2020, as the nation was waiting for court ruling on re-elections and calling for the resignation of the then Electoral Commission chairperson Dr. Justice Jane Ansah,” the report had said, adding that Special Forces could pose a serious threat to national security, citizens, donor community and regional bodies.

MCP Director of Youth and Minister of Homeland Security, Richard Chimwendo Banda, had confirmed to have seen the report. However, the minister had clarified that the alleged militia youths were employees of the State House.

“They are undergoing normal training. As you are aware, when DPP was in power, they had their own team at the State House. And when the Tonse Alliance came in, a new team was hired albeit without any experience in security issues; hence, we are training them in basic security protocols,” Chimwendo Banda had said.

Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Defence and Security, Jappie Mhango, had confirmed to Nyasa Times on having visited Mtakataka Police Training School on Saturday in view of the allegation Chaponda made in parliament.

However, Mhango had refused to disclose the findings of their tour to the school.

“I can confirm that we indeed visited the facility, but for the details, we shall share after reporting back to Parliament,” Mhango had told Nyasa Times.

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m_N
m_N
1 year ago

It would be a huge drawback if these allegations were to be proved correct. We cannot afford this man-made mess in Malawi, economically crawling as we are doing.

Hawell
1 year ago

Kajoloweka you are right mawu a APM tidzawakumbuka he said “if you vote wrongly you shall regret the rest of your life” here we are Tonse govt with Chilima inside wants us to go back to one party system koma sitilola that’s why come 2025 we are taking them out of power come rain or sunshine we can’t allow such nonsense taking place in this multiparty era. Bakili Muluzi you are there please make a strong statement on this if the allegations are true so that we should match the whole country in protest against this kuti awachotseretu amenewo bcoz… Read more »

Gerald M.
Gerald M.
1 year ago

Shame on you, Chaponda! Training goons for your political party, who could someday become criminals and armed robbers.

Malunga
Malunga
1 year ago

In Mangochi we know those that have attended the training. They brag about it

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