Former main opposition in parliament, the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) says it will not take part in peace prayers which have been organized by pro ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) clergy at Kamuzu Palace on Thursday ahead of the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections.
MCP presidential candidate Lazurus Chakwera, United Democratic Front (UDF) presidential candidate Atupele Muluzi and UTM Party hopeful Saulos Chilima attended prayers for peace organised by Public Affairs Committee (PAC) last week where President Peter Mutharika shunned the prayers.
The Presidential Prayer Breakfast on Thursday have been organised by several Christian churches, including Pentecostal Revival Crusade Ministries, Calvary Family Church, Agape Life Church, Charismatic Redeemed Ministries International, Malawi Assemblies of God and Living Waters Church.
But spokesperson for MCP, Reverend Maurice Munthali said the party president Chakwera already attended peace prayers organized by quasi-religious body, PAC.
“You might wish to know that the MCP fully participated in peace prayers organized by PAC and signed the peace accord,” said Munthali.
Meanwhile, UDF’s Muluyzi has send apologies that he will not be bale to attend the prayers at Kamuzu Palace.
UDF secretary general Kandi Padambos ssaid Muluzi “appreciate the importance “ of the prayers but will not be able to attend due to the fact that he had already prearranged activities in the Northern Region “which cannot be postponed further.”
Muluzi will delegate Padambo to the prayers.
Presidential candidates for UTM, Umodzi Party UP) and Mbakuwaku Movement for Development (MMD) say they have tight schedules which will not allow them to attend the prayers.
The Presidential Prayer Breakfast have been organized by sympathisers of DPP and on the forefront is convener Apostle Madalitso Mbewe.
Organising secretary of the prayers Connex Kaduma said the prayers are meant to ease tension ahead of the election.
“In 1994 and 2004, there was a lot of tension ahead of the elections just as is the case in 2019, this is why we have organized these peace breakfast prayers,” said Kaduma.
However, the opposition say they have problems with the prayers being held at Kamuzu Palace, the official residence of Mutharika.
Ironically, the President will be the guest of honour at the prayers in his backyard.
Institute for Policy Interaction (IPI) executive director Rafiq Hajat and University of Livingstonia (Unilia) political scientist George Phiri also questioned the rationale of having separate national prayers at a restricted place, considering that they should be meant for all people in the country.
They argued that Presidential Prayer Breakfast should have been held at a neutral venue where people from all walks of life would avail themselves.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :