Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera has blamed an apparent assassination attempt at Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) chairperson Timothy Mtambo on regime thugs, saying governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has been the mastermind of the petrol-bombing of a house belonging to Mtambo.
According to vice-chairperson of HRDC Gift Trapence, the thugs went to Mtambo’s house on a killing mission, adding that the petrol bombs they threw landed on a car which got half burnt.
But Chakwera said he believed the DPP Cadets was responsible for the petrol-bomb thrown at house and property belonging to Mtambo and that regime thugs are behind all the arson attacks and political terror in the post-elections stalemate.
He further accused DPP of sponsoring thugs during the ongoing demonstrations to destroy people’s property to score a point that the protests are not peaceful.
The MCP president said the terror campaign is calculated to sew panic in the opposition and civil society organisations and destabilise the ongoing electoral justice battle.
Chakwera, who is challenging results of May presidential elections in court, condemned the criminal activity, saying it is “barbaric type of behaviour that is associated with especially insurgents of the DPP government.”
No evidence has emerged to implicate any individual or group.
But government spokesperson, which is also Minister of Information, Civic Education and Communications Technology Mark Botomani has dismissed the allegations by the MCP leader.
He said Chakwera’s allegations are baseless and should be dismissed with the contempt it deserves.
Minister of Homeland Security Nicholous Dausi said allegations against DPP are malicious, saying the party officials are clean from any act of violence.
“As government, we are worried that what happened to him [Mtambo] is a criminal act. But there is no way the ruling party can be involved in such violence,” said Dausi.
“We have been speaking against violence and we have been complaining about the same, so how can we do that?”
National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera confirmed the cops found a VW Pollo vehicle burnt and damaged half way and that they investigating the matter.
While local groups the National Advocacy Platform (NAP) and the Joint Civil Society Platform on Governance have condemned the attack on Mtambo, describing it as cowardice, Amnesty International has also added its voice.
Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for Southern Africa, Muleya Mwananyanda, said: “This cowardly and malicious attack on Timothy Mtambo’s property is a clear act of intimidation, designed to deter him from carrying out his human rights work. Timothy and his family narrowly escaped harm after three petrol bombs were thrown into his compound. One hit and torched his car while the second was thrown at the gate and the last narrowly missed his house.
“There must be no stone left unturned in pursuit of those who are behind this attack. The authorities must launch a prompt, impartial and effective investigation and ensure that suspected perpetrators are brought to justice in fair trials.
“The incident comes weeks after Timothy received threats for organizing demonstrations over allegations of mismanagement of the May 21 elections. The Malawian authorities must stop singling out critical voices for attack, and instead commit to respecting freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.”
Last week, unknown thugs, suspected to be DPP cadets, burned offices belonging to Malawi Congress Party (MCP) vice-president Sidik Mia at his Cold Storage Company in Blantyre. In late August last year, HRDC offices were torched by unknown thugs who also injured a security guard in Lilongwe.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :