Germany says political violence has the potential to ruin Malawi’s image asa peace loving nation, saying recent events have been worrying.
Jurgen Bosch, Germany’s envoy to Lilongwe, was commenting on reported cases of politically-motivated violence in the country ahead of the October 17 by-elections in three wards and three constituencies.
He said Germany, one of Malawi’s development partners, “feel sad” with recent reports of political violence.
Borsch said “Malawians should live together regardless of which party they belong to, who they will vote for .”
His comments comes against a background of two recent violent conducts on the political front.
Politically-orchestrated violence first reared its ugly head last month in Nsanje Lalanje Constituency, one of the areas where Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) will be holding by-elections. Followers of opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) fought in the area, stirring tension.
On Saturday, panga-wielding and stone-throwing youths clad in DPP regalia also attacked MCP president and leader of Opposition in Parliament Lazarus Chakwera at the Gonapamuhanya ceremony in Bolero, Rumphi.
MEC will hold parliamentary by-elections in Lilongwe Msozi North, Lilongwe South East and Nsanje Lalanje constituencies and three local government elections in Mayani North Ward in Dedza North Constituency, Mtsiriza Ward in Lilongwe City West Constituency and Ndirande Makata Ward in Blantyre Malabada Constituency
DPP and MCP have engaged in a blame-game on the Rumphi violence with the governing party laying it on MCP and MCP, saying DPP was responsible.
Traditional leaders in the organising committee of the event also linked the violence to DPP supporters who were chased from the venue for wearing party colours contrary to the event’s dress code.