JB insists Mutharika to blame for Thyolo violence

President Joyce Banda has maintained that the political violence at Goliati in Thyolo, which resulted in the deaths of a police officer and a civilian last week was at the instigation of and carefully planned by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) leadership.

Speaking on Sunday at a political campaign rally for her People’s Party (PP) at Malemia Primary School ground in Zomba-Malosa constituency, President Banda maintained that Mutharika caused the violence.

Banda said Mutharika has visited Goliati three days before her rally and she has intelligence report indicating that he sponsored and organised the violence.

President Banda: I might just win by landslide, let us wait and see
President Banda: I might just win by landslide, let us wait and see

The President who survived an assassination attempt from the DPP regime when she was a want-away vice president, said the Goliati violence was “politically motivated” and called for a thorough investigation.

She said her government will not tolerate such acts of political violence to destabilise the peaceful management of elections and to threaten the peace and security of the people.

“This barbaric act was politically motivated by DPP led by Mutharika. All those that are directly or indirectly involved should face the wrath of the law,” said Banda.

Banda, previously vice president, came to power in 2012 following the sudden death of president Bingu wa Mutharika.

The President said the violent acts has tainted DPP’s image because it was the third political fracas in the area against political parties other than DPP.

Banda said a few months ago her party and United Democratic Front (UDF) supporters were also assaulted in the same area.

Mutharika at a news conference denied any involvement with the violence and asked Banda to ” withdraw the slander.”

During the rally, President Banda also unveiled PP parliamentary candidate for Zomba-Malosa, her son Roy Kachale.

Malawi heads to the polls on May 20 for presidential, parliamentary and local elections.

Banda  expressed optimism of winning the elections, saying she is the only President who has faced corruption head-on and  is dealing with the ‘cashgate’ , saying it is an “opportunity” to further clean house so her nation may one day stand on its own feet.

Critics feel Banda will face stern test in the elections because of the corruption cashgate scandal, which has become campaign talking point for the opposition.

Banda stressed that that tackling corruption has come at a personal cost – she has received death threats and could potentially be made to carry the can for it when Malawi goes to elections in May-   but is  upabeat to win even “ by a landslide.”

Banda faces three prominent contenders including Atupele Muluzi (UDF) , Lazarus Chakwera (MCP) and Peter Mutharika (DPP),in the May elections.

Roy Kachale Banda (left) and the crowds in Zomba
Roy Kachale Banda (left) and the crowds in Zomba

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