The country’s estranged Vice President and UTM leader Saulos Chilima’s convoy was on Friday pelted with stones as he conducted a whistle-stop campaign tour in Phalombe and Mulanje districts of the Lhomwe belt which is considered the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) stronghold.
Chilima is currently in a campaign trail as running mate of Lazarus Chakwera, the president of the main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) in elections tentatively expected to be held next month.
In the ensuring fracas, a Zodiak Television cameraman sustained injuries.
Chilima’s spokesman Pilirani Phiri confirmed the incident and told Nyasa Times that as a result of the incident, the vice president was forced to cut short the whistle-stop campaign tour for the fresh presidential elections.
“There was an attack on the convoy by cadets [DPP youth cadres] and the vehicle that was transporting the media was smashed and a Zodiak cameraman was injured,” Phiri told Nyasa Times. “None of the vehicles on the main convoy of the Vice President has been stoned. To ensure safety, the Vice President had to cut short the campaign tour.”
Video clips that are circulating on social media show a panga-wielding man approaching the media video, followed by beatings on the vehicle body before the vehicle is pelted with stones, smashing all windows.
DPP spokesperson Nicholous Dausi distanced the attack from the party.
“There is no way DPP could organise violence. It is wrong to attack one another ,” said Dausi who is also Minister of Homeland Security.
In another incident, another group of thugs also pelted stones at a political rally that was being addressed by Tonse Alliance members in Liwonde.
Malawi Congress Party (MCP) member Daud Suleman, who was part of the team, said they were attacked by thugs wearing DPP and UDF t-shirts.
“DPP cadres on motorbikes came into our rally to disturb us. No injuries on our team. They pelted stones on us and our vehicles. They were wearing DPP and UDF colors.
“We represent a new Malawi that thrives on coexistence and tolerance. A barbaric Malawi, where stone throwing and beatings were a political tool, is long gone. We are in 2020 and the DPP leadership must embrace the change of winds.,” said Suleman, an IT expert for MCP.
He added: “ No amount of stones will derail this change. No amount of beatings will delay the birth of a new Malawi. We have come in peace and justice. Tonse ndife a Malawi.”
Malawi Police Service (MPS) national spokesperson James Kadadzera, said they are moving in to curb the acts of violence, warning : “Whosoever will be caught, the long arm, of the law will take its course.”
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