DPP calls for calm: Dausi claims Malawi Govt has hired hoodlums, Makande rebuts

Opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has called on the party supporters to exercise calm and restraint as the DPP acting president Peter Mutharika and 10 others, who include Minister of Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe and former chief secretary to Malawi Government Bright Msaka will be applying for bail on alleged coup plot charges.

The party spokesman Nicholous Dausi was speaking on Wednesday from Lumbadzi Police station where he is being detained.

DPP supporters have turned violent since the arrest of its leader and others on Monday. On Tuesday the DPP supporters stoned the police and damaged various properties, including Lilongwe District Council office window panes and a vehicle belonging to the council’s officiall.

Dausi in an interview monitored by Nyasa Times on Zodiak Broadcasting Service through its online live streaming said that they were urging party supporters to give their leaders moral support peacefully.

Dausi: Calm
Dausi: Calm

He claimed the violence which occurred is part of Government and ruling People’s Party (PP) tactics to ensure they keep holding the 11 suspects in police detention.

“Our DPP supporters converge at one place to sing, and chant peacefully, which is a constitutional right anyway,” said Dausi, apparently downplaying the rioting carried by DPP supporters.

“We have information that PP and government have bought DPP t-shirts and get political hoodlums and some rough necks  in Lilongwe market to cause havoc in the city masquerading as DPP youth morale and youth cadets ,” alleged Dausi.

He appealed to DPP supporters “to hand over to police” anyone “who is seen creating anarchy.”

Mutharika and 10 others were arrested on Monday following a Commission of Inquiry Report that exposed attempts to circumvent constitutional order in last April’s power transition.

But Dausi insisted the arrests were politically inspired.

“In politics we know when you are on trumped charges you are in good spirits,” he said.

“We are in high spirits because we know this is not the end of the word. We have no food but God is with us,” said Dausi.

Commenting on the conditions of the Police holding cell, Dausi said: “We are sleeping on the floor in a room infested with mosquitos, no running water, the condition is so pathetic.”

He however acknowledged that “we have professional police.”

Dausi said Mutharika is “strong” and in high spirits, saying “he knows that all these things are simply trumped up charges.”

But PP spokesman Hophmally Makande dismissed Dausi’s claims.

He told Zodiak’s report Pilirani Phiri: “You were speaking to Dausi in police cell; it shows the police are not doing their job properly.”

Makande said DPP director of research Dr George Chaponda confirmed that the rioting was being carried by DPP supporters because the people were provoked.

“It is a pity he (Dausi) has decided to smear the mud on PP. PP has no connection with the violence. In fact, Dr. [George] Chaponda was on radio this morning confessing that the party’s youth are wreaking havoc in town because they have been provoked. They should spare us this madness,” said Makande.

Makande wondered why the police were not acting decisively on the violence saying “as a party we will not allow anarchy. The party (PP) will take steps on this.” He did not elaborate.

The PP spokesman said it is not a secret that DPP is synonymous with violence.

“The symbol and trade mark for DPP is violence,” said Makande.

Besides Mutharika, Dausi, Gondwe and Msaka, the list of the 11 top officials arrested also includes former Cabinet ministers Patricia Kaliati, Symon Vuwa Kaunda, Henry Mussa and Jean Kalirani.

Former deputy minister Kondwani Nankhumwa, Msaka’s former deputy Necton Mhura and former presidential guard commander Duncan Mwapasa are also on the list as confirmd by government spokesman Moses Kunkuyu.

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