Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika has hired a hit-squad from his political ally Zimbabwe dictator Robert Mugabe to deal with critics and activist, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have claimed.
Presidential spokesperson Heatherwick Ntaba has however refuted the allegations as baseless.
Acting national coordinator of Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRCC), Reverend MacDonald Sembereka, speaking at a news conference in the capital, Lilongwe, said the CSOs have been reliably informed by impeccable sources that the terror group is in the country, days after Mutharika secretly held talks with Mugabe.
“The information we are getting is that the first team of these thugs came a week ago to make assessment, and the second team has just arrived,” said Sembereka.
“This information is from very credible sources,” he pointed out.
According to the rights defenders, Mutharika wants to launch a deadly crackdown on critics and activist.
Apparently, regime thugs have been involved already in terror operations, launching petrol-bombs on prominent activists, lawyers and even journalists.
State House spokesman Ntaba rebutted the allegations, saying there is no evidence to substantiate the CSOs claims.
Ntaba told Daybreak Malawi programme on Capital FM that the country’s activist have “run out of steam” and are and are cooking up justifications for their planned March demonstrations.
“It is quite obvious that some of these CSO leaders have run out of steam, so they are going to be fabricating outrageous allegations,” he said.
Ntaba said the CSO were piloting falsehoods to “please their donors.”
He said: “This government doesn’t do that kind of thing. The party is not having a trademark of that nature.”
Ntaba called on CSO leaders to report any attacks to Police or an independent investigator.
Mutharika’s administration is increasingly becoming unpopular with the economic crisis as well as what Malawians call President Mutharika’s growing autocracy.
Malawi rights groups also fear more reprisals through what they called ‘arbitrary arrests’ and the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) youth cadets whom the president called upon to protect him against those who criticise him.
President Mutharika warned that NGO leaders and critics that they would be “smoked out” of their hiding places, including from their houses or caves.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :