Ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) notorious youth cadets from Lilongwe market have spent a night in a cold police cell after they were arrested on Friday for injuring some vendors.
Police initially issued a press release identifying the arrested as DPP Lilongwe Vendors Association but withdrew it after political pressure from the DPP.
Atleast 10 vendors were wounded and were rushed to Bwaila Hospital where one vendor was admitted due to serious wounds.
Meanwhile, the police say they are yet to get a complaint from President Peter Mutharika’s former aide Anna Makuta whose house was petrol bombed on Thursday night.
The suspected DPP cadets petrol bombed the gates of her house in Area 47. The DPP spokesperson Francis Kasaila said the party does not engage in violent activities.
Makuta said she suspects she was the target because she attended a function on wednesday presided over by Vice-President Saulos Chilima.
Mutharika, 79, is facing an unprecedented resistance for an incumbent—eligible for a second term as per the Malawi Constitution—from some DPP members canvassing for the candidacy of Chilima, 45. In the May 20 2014 Tripartite Elections, Mutharika picked Chilima as his running mate from the private sector where he served as Airtel Malawi managing director.
Former first lady Callista Mutharika—widow of DPP founding president and the incumbent President’s elder brother, Bingu wa Mutharika—sparked the succession debate weeks ago when she said her in-law should pave the way for the comparatively youthful and energetic Chilima widely seen as a hands-on and results-oriented leader after he vibrantly led the Public Sector Reforms Programme that has lost steam since it was moved from his domain.
Mutharika has declared he will lead DPP in the elections while Chilima has remained silent on calls for him to vie for the presidency.
During the opening of the Budget Meeting of Parliament in Lilongwe on May 4, DPP youth cadets attempted to block Mulanje West member of Parliament (MP) Patricia Kaliati who is also DPP national director of women, Blantyre City East MP Noel Masangwi from making it into the National Assembly where Mutharika delivered the State of the Nation Address (Sona). The disturbed delivery of the President’s speech and attacked perceived Chilima campaigners, including Kaliati and Masangwi.
On the night of May 4, another legislator Bon Kalindo had one of his vehicles petrol-bombed by unknown assiatlants at his house in Blantyre while he was at Parliament in Lilongwe.
The Vice-President was the first to condemn the violence perpetrated by the DPP youth, describing it as barbaric.
Parliament has since instituted a probe into the unprecedented incident in living memory where delivery of the Sona was disrupted by “strangers in the House”.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :