Governmrny has rejected accusations by Vice-President Saulos Chilima that President Peter Mutharika of failing to curb political violence as the country moves towards the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections as “misinformation.’’
Chilima, who is also president of UTM Party registered after he severed ties with the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) last June, told a news conference held in Lilongwe on Wednesday that the ruling party was unleashing a ‘satanic wave of terror’.
But in a statement made available to Nyasa Times issued by Minister of Infirmation and Communicationd Technology (ICT) Henry Mussa, trashed Chilima’s remarks at a news conference at Bingu International Convention Centre which Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) television and radio aired it live.
Mussa said Chilima made “erroneous comments” and clarified that government does not pursue politics of intorelajce and violence.
Reads the statement in part: “The public is being informed and assured that the government of the Republic of Malawi does not have a policy, written or implied, of violence let alone intolerance.
“If this was not the case, Dr. Chilima would not still have been enjoying state amenities, including security and a salary despite practically abdicating from his official responsibilities as Vice President.”
Mussa said because Mutharika’s administration does not pursue a policy of intolerance, Chilima still moves freely, still speaks freely, still travels freely, and still insults the President of the Republic freely, even as doing so is against the law.
“The policy that the Government of Malawi is following is grounded in the belief that Malawi is a democracy and, therefore, everyone should have the space within which they must freely live their lives, hold their beliefs s and express their opinions as long as, in doing all these, they do not cross the borders of the law,” reads the statement.
Mussa said Chilima is wrong to suggest that the duty of ending violence in Malawi is of the President and the Government alone, saying the fact remains that the responsibility is of everyone.
The government spokesman said that the remarks Chilima made are below someone as the Vice President.
”They are irresponsible because they only serve to fertilize hatred and schemes of political thuggery which every Malawian should be abhorring.”
At the nes conference, Chilima was also blunt when asked by reporters his thoughts about the President’s recent rigging claims, saying: “You [the President] say you know who is here to rig, you know the equipment is here for rigging and you know where the equipment is; and then you are doing nothing about it? As President, you could have sent police to arrest those involved…”
But government said it has confidence in the Malawi Electoral Commission delivering a free and fair election and advised Chilima to desist from making “overzealous declarations” because these tend to create expectations and a recipe for rejecting outcomes of elections when such expectations are not realized.
“Suffice it to say that the next vice president of the Republic will be known only after the Malawi Electoral Commission has declared results,” the statement said.
After being declared winner of the 2014 presidential race, Mutharika is on record to have dismissed his predecessor Joyce Banda’s claims that the election was rigged, telling British Broadcasting Corporation on May 22 2014: “I don’t see how an opposition party can rig elections.”
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