Minister of Transport and Public Works Jappie Mhango, who is also Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Director of Campaign, has exonerated himself from terror attacks which took place at Gonapamhanya Traditional ceremony in Bolero, Rumphi after he was accused to be among the organisers of the terror.
Last Saturday, panga-wielding and stone-throwing youths clad in DPP regalia attacked MCP president and leader of Opposition in Parliament Lazarus Chakwera at the Gonapamuhanya ceremony.
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.
Mhango told Nyasa Times that during the time of fracas, he was away in Nsanje campaigning for the DPP Candidate.
“I was not there infact I just heard Alliance for Democracy members mentioning my name which was not true,” he said.
Mhango claims the attack was masterminded MCP members backing Speaker Richard Msowoya targeting the lower shire political giant Mohammed Sidik Mia who talked against some MCP members that they are Lebwedelebwede.
“What happened was that when Northern Region MCP members heard that MCP President Dr Lazarus was attending the ceremony, the first thing they thought was that he will come with Sidik Mia. Now our intelligence told us that the disgruntled supporters gathered at Bolero turnoff to block Chakwera and these people were even in MCP attire,” said Mhango.
The Minister said Police advised Chakwera to return and not attend the event for security reasons..
He also said MCP members smashed a DPP vehicle which belongs to Northern Region DPP Youth Director, Kelvin Chirambo.
“Our youth were just ambushed that’s why they were not armed as MCP and AFORD members hacked our people leaving them with life threatening deep cuts,” Mhango said.
MCP Second Deputy Secretary General, Eisenhower Mkaka trashed Mhango statement as shameful fabrication.
“This is another sesperate attempt by the DPP to launder dirty linen. It is very clear that the people who perpetuated the violence were the DPP cadets without any shadow of doubt and Minister Grace Chiumia apologised on behald of the party,” he said.
But Mhango insisted that the ruling party did not cause the fracas and accused the MCP and others of being at fault.
“I can take you to Rumphi Hospitals our boys are still nursing wounds, do you want me to take you there?” he asked.
In a statement, DPP said its preliminary findings have established that MCP supporters were in possession of some weapons, including knives, that were put to use during the fracas that followed.
“These most unfortunate incidences were properly planned and executed by supporters of the opposition Malawi Congress Party and their allies. During the Rumphi events, some DPP supporters were mercilessly beaten up by the opposition hooligans and at least one official vehicle of the DPP was heavily smashed by the stone throwing MCP supporters,” reads part of the statement.
The statement further calls upon the police to swiftly conduct thorough investigations into the Rumphi incident and ensure that all the perpetrators are brought to book.
Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) executive secretary David Nungu said the commission will conduct a fact-finding mission on incidences of political violence starting from next week to establish the cause and recommend solutions.
The Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM), a grouping of Catholic bishops in the country, has condemned reported cases of politically-motivated violence ahead of the October 17 by-elections in three wards and three constituencies.
MEC will hold by-elections in Lilongwe Msozi North, Lilongwe South East and NsanjeLalanje constituencies and in three local government wards of Mayani North in Dedza North Constituency, Mtsiriza Ward in Lilongwe City West Constituency and Ndirande-Makata Ward in Blantyre Malabada Constituency.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :