JB warns violent cadres: Denies Malawi rigging claims

President Joyce Banda has warned that state apparatus will firmly deal with perpetrators of electoral violence, saying she has reports of opposition plot to unleash violent actions in the run up to the elections.

Speaking at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe during an interface meeting with the clergy, the President said Malawians were peaceful people that would not want the peace and tranquillity that the nation had enjoyed to be disrupted simply because of the May 20 polls.

President Banda said he would not allow violence to prevail ahead of the polls and after the ballot.

She told the faith leaders that she was “concerned” with the allegations that her administration is planning to rig the elections.

President Banda: Let there be peace
President Banda: Let there be peace

“These allegations are intended to create fear among the people to lose confidence in the electoral process,” she noted.

“In fact, I have received intelligence reports that some opposition parties are planning to undermine the elections by instigating violence before the results are announced,” said President Banda.

“I have also observed with concern statements by some media houses, civil society organisations and political leaders regarding violence. For example, the scenes of violence especially the incident in Thyolo during and after the People’s Party rally, and a few other places like Mangochi, demonstrate which parties are still caught up in the spirit of violence as it was in the past.

“Unlike in past where the ruling party was intimidating its opponents, now it is the opposition that is attacking the ruling party,” said Banda.

Finally, let me she however assured the Clergy and all Malawians that she is “committed to ensuring that law and order, peace and calm prevail in this country during elections.”

She said: “I personally look forward to the historic tripartite elections and I believe that all Malawians look at these elections as a key milestone in our democracy. The elections are a test of the maturity of our democratic process.”

President said she has overturned Malawi’s political, economical and social woes that had beset the nation two years ago when she assumed office.

I took over the reins of power at a time Malawi was on a brink of collapse economically, due to chronic fuel and forex shortages, the relationship between government and religious leaders was very poor and estimated 2.5 million people were facing hunger,” Banda reminded the Clergy.

Apostle Madalitso Mbewe of the Calvary Family Church said apart from the elections, some of the issues that were discussed during the meeting held in camera, include the Lake Malawi wrangle with Tanzania and the infamous Cashgate.

Apostle Mbewe said  they had “an in-depth understanding and well explained on the progress made so far on the Malawi-Tanzania dispute over Lake Malawi, with some information that has never been shared with the media.”

Malawi is expected to hold tripartite elections on May 20 when voters will choose President, parliamentarians and councillors. 12 presidential candidates are expected to contest the polls.

However, the major contest has been narrowed down to four presidential candidates. They are Atupele Muluzi for the opposition United Democratic Front (UDF), Peter Mutharika of the DPP, Lazarus Chakwera of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and President Banda of the ruling PP.

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