Malawi Congress Party (MCP) presidential candidate Lazarus Chakwera has said the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is responsible of masterminding rising cases of political violence and that it should not deny this.
Chakwera, who said is pushing for a peaceful campaign to the May 21 Tripartite Election, condemned DPP’s “culture of violence,” saying his is not the time for violence, but to find solutions to problems the country is facing.
The MCP president and leader of opposition said the DPP rough necks have become so brazen and emboldened in their attacks that they do it all over the country, saying they do it on any opposition party; they do it without restraint and they do it with intent of inflicting maximum damage and instilling terror.
“At times, they have done it in full view of police officers and the State President and the State vice president, fully confident that they are above the law and immune from prosecution,” said the MCP leader.
This year alone, roughnecks suspected to be DPP youth cadets have assaulted UTM director of youth Bon Kalindo in Mulanje, harassed and forced UTM supporters—including a woman—to undress in Mangochi and beat up Malawi Congress Party (MCP) operative Edward Govati in Blantyre.
But DPP has since distanced itself from the cases of political violence with party spokesperson Nicholas Dausi stating that the perpetrators could be “people masquerading as DPP” supporters.
Chakwera said it is shameful that DPP is denying responsibility when it is clear that it is their operatives who are behind the political terror campaign.
“It is ruling party cadets who have severely beaten up Mr. Govati of MCP at his home last night in Blantyre. It is ruling party cadets who stripped members of UTM in Mangochi. It is ruling party cadets who threatened me and my delegation with violence and barred us from attending the Chilembwe Memorial in Chiradzulu. It is ruling party cadets who disrupted a UTM meeting in Mulanje. It is ruling party cadets who disrupted the very house of parliament in Lilongwe,” said Chakwera.
Towards the end of last year, MEC led by its chairperson Jane Ansah engaged political leaders—including Mutharika, Vice-President Saulos Chilima, MCP president Lazarus Chakwera, Joyce Banda of PP and Atupele Muluzi of United Democratic Front (UDF)—in face-to-face meetings to commit to an issue-based and violence-free election campaign to ensure a free, fair and credible election.