Archbishop of Blantyre Thomas Msusa has asked political leaders to watch their tongues ahead of the May 2019 tripartite elections, making a direct reference to President Peter Mutharika’s catchphrase “Ndidzakunyenyanyenyani’ [I will crush you].
Mutharika has been using the catchphrase in public political rally to challenge the DPP members demanding that he should not stand at the convention. He warned those who were rooting for Vice-President Saulos Chilima – before he announced on Wednesday that he would not challenge the incumbent for presidential candidacy- repeatedly warned he would crush them at the convention.
His grace Msusa, who is head of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM), urged political leaders to desist from using threatening words.
“We don’t want to hear words like ndikunyenyanyenyani, [I will crush you at the convention],” Msusa said.
He made the remarks during the 85th graduation ceremony for Form 4 students at Providence Girls Secondary School in Mulanje.
The leader of influential Catholic Church also asked Malawians to choose wisely in the May 2019 Tripartite elections and vote for leaders who are calm, patient and development-conscious.
He also condemned nepotism and cronyism.
But the presidential spokesperson, Mgeme Kalilani said the statement Mutharika made about ‘ndizakunyenyanyenyani’ is just a “figure of speech” which are never meant to be understood literally.
“One does not need to be a rocket scientist to understand that a politician’s statements on a political podium challenging his competitors to face him at an elective convention and saying that he would crush them does not have anything to do with violence,” Kalilani said in quotes reportedin the local press.
He said to pretend that one sees a call for violence in such a straight figure of speech was stretching pretence too far.
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