Vice President Saulos Chilima has spoken against what he calls political thuggery in the country, saying it threatens the stability and that State-sponsored violence has the potential to spark civil war or sliding into “genocide”.
Chilima told a news conference on Monday that President Peter Mutharika’s political ideology revolves around violence and tribal hegemony.
“Yesterday, they destroyed [Malawi Electoral Commission] MEC’s equipment, tomorrow they will destroy your houses. Yesterday, they hacked UTM supporters and monitors in Mulanje, tomorrow they will hack anyone who does not speak their language.
“Yesterday they torched a UTM car, tomorrow they will torch any car bearing the registration number of a district they do not like. This is how civil wars and genocide begin: lack of tolerance and use of violence to settle political scores plus a dosage of leadership foolishness and arrogance,” said Chilima.
Chilima said Malawians of all tribes are suffering together in the country and should not let the political violence develop into genocidal proportions.
“As I have said before, there is no Chewa suffering or Lhomwe poverty. There is no Tumbuka hunger or Ngoni pain. There is no Sena indigence or Yao destitution,” said Chilima.
He said despite belonging to different tribes, Malawians are one people paying allegiance to the same flag.
“We must embrace our diversity and celebrate the plurality of our cultural practices. We are a garden full of flowers of different colours. Our beauty is in our diversity. Our diversity must be a source of strength and not weakness.
“We must also remind ourselves that this unity and peace that we enjoy must not be taken for granted. No matter our political affiliation, we must firmly reject attempts by some political leaders or party supporters to consolidate their support by stocking societal tensions or tribal divisions. This is simply irresponsible and dangerous and must be condemned in the strongest terms,” said Chilima.
Malawi is preparing a fresh presidential elections slated for July 2 2020 subjected to Supreme Court of Appeal ruling.
Ahead of the elections the ugly face of political violence has started rearing its head.
Chilima said violence and intimidation is a form of vote rigging.
“Violence and intimidation is used by unpopular politicians to stop others from effectively campaigning and canvassing for votes, thereby denying voters the choice they desperately need. Violence and intimidation is used by undemocratic and unprogressive tribal parties as the DPP to create a climate of fear for everyone because they know they cannot fairly compete and win,” he said.
Chilima said the DPP shall fail to subvert the will of Malawians in the fresh vote “because good overcomes evil” and that Malawians are made of “sterner stuff.”
He also said it is also very reckless and myopic for the DPP to use terror and intimidation to try to rig this election.
“The continent of Africa is replete with sad examples of how corrupt and inept leaders tried to use violence and intimidation to remain perpetually in power only to set their countries alight with uncontrollable violence and civil war.
“We must never ever play with fire. We must never take this peace we enjoy in this country for granted. It is simply silly and irresponsible,” he said.
Chilima asked President Mutharika to stop the violence which he alleged is perpetrated by his “surrogates” to avoid people witnessing chaos similar to that experienced in Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi and other hotspots in Africa and elsewhere,
Said Chilima: “You swore to defend the Constitution and protect Malawians. You must rise to your constitutional duties.”
He said Malawi send soldiers on peacekeeping missions in DRC and other places where many fellow Africans are suffering because of civil wars.
Chilima said it is “completely senseless and nonsensical”, for anyone no matter who they are to attempt to use such a well-respected breed of soldiers to unleash terror on their own fellow citizens.
“Again, this attempt shall fail miserably as we believe that our soldiers shall protect the lives of their fellow Malawians as they do to those of the Congolese,” said Chilima.
Government is yet to respond to Chilima’s statements.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :