Forum calls for arrests of perpetrators of Thyolo violence

The Forum for National Development (FND) has called for the arrests of those behind violence which erupted in Thyolo during a President Joyce Banda’s) rally claiming at least two lives including a police offier.

President Banda was at Goliati on Sunday to officially ‘switch on’ electricity at Chimaliro Health Centre following a request Senior Chief Chimaliro.

The ruling People’s Party (PP) has accused opposition Democratic Progressie Party (DPP) of orchestrating the violence. The area where the President was addressing a meeting at Goliati is the home of DPP leader Peter Mutharika and stronghold of his party.

Chonzi (right) and Kampaundi addressing journalists
Chonzi (right) and Kampaundi addressing journalists

DPP spokesman Nicholas Dausi has since distanced his party from the violence, saying Mutharika was not in the area when the violence took place.

But FND Chairperson Bright Kampaundi speaking at a news conference in Lilongwe on Monday denounced the “awaful violence” saying it was a bad reflection on the country’s multiparty democracy and it has jeopardised other political parties’ security especially now that it comes before the official launch of the campaign period on March 21.

“This act of violence needs to be dealt with decisively and whoever or whichever institution that is behind this barbaric act must be brought to justice,” said Kampaundi.

Also at the briefing was FND’s National Coordinator Fryson Chodzi who quashed out speculation that the violence was sparked by statements from Health Minister Katherine Gotani Hara.

Chodzi argued that Gotani Hara who said “having a brother as a doctor does not necessarily make you a doctor” was not reason enough to spark the kind of violence that would result in deaths and life threatening injuries.

He further revealed that FND’s research team has established that the perpetrators were youths who were armed and acting under the influence of alcohol which vindicates the conclusion that act was a pre-meditated one.

Among the two who died at the violence was a police officer who was hacked in the head with an axe while trying to calm the situation.

FND has since urged the Police to bring these perpetrators to book to deter further eruption of similar acts.

The youths have also been urged to refrain from being used as tools for violence by political parties.

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