Former president Joyce Banda has urged political leaders not to divide people in the country in the name of religion during the political campaign for the fresh presidential elections.
Addressing a rally at Naisi in Zomba under the banner of opposition Tonse Allaince, Banda, who leads Peoples Party (PP), credited former president Bakili Muluzi for advising her during the two years she was Head of State not to allow religion creeps into political affairs.
“It was my brother, former president Dr. Bakili Muluzi who told me that political violence, tied to religious affiliations never ends. He advised me to avoid bringing religion into politics,” said Banda.
“I am wondering today that DPP-UDF alliance is championing politics of religions ahead of the election,” he said.
“We are Malawians regardless of being coming from different religious backgrounds, let’s unite as people from one nation,” said Banda.
Taking his turn, MCP vice president Sidik Mia concurred with Banda, stressing that no presidential candidate or running mate should be campaigning using the religion card, especially Islam.
Tonse Alliance leader in their meetings across the country have gone on an overdrive to critice recent utterances by President Peter Mutharika’s running mate Atupele Muluzi, who is UDF president, for asking people to reject MCP allegedly because the party’s stronghold, the Central Region, hates Muslims.
Muluzi has since received a backlash for his remarks, with quasi-religious grouping Public Affairs Committee and political analysts demanding that he apologise to the nation for using divisive religious remarks to gain political mileage.
He has not apologised, but UDF spokesperson Ken Ndanga told the press that he saw nothing wrong with Muluzi’s remarks.