Malawi Defence Force (MDF) soldiers in barracks are warning the appointing authority against plans to fire the recently appointed Army Commander General Vincent Nundwe over ‘lack of support to the ruling Democratic progressive Party (DPP)’.
Insiders said President Peter Mutharika was discussing the issue with some of his inner circle crew on a possible replacement for Nundwe.
MDF soldiers mercilessly beat up DPP cadets including known cadets such as Mnthandizi Ward councillor in Blantyre Bangwe Constituency, Isaac Jomo Osman, who were causing havoc by beating innocent people suspecting them to be demonstrators at the Chichiri Shopping Mall in Blantyre Thursday morning.
The soldiers forced the cadets into their white Landrover which was parked near Game Stores and fled the area after receiving a good beating, a leaked video of the incident can show.
“This incident did not go down well with some DPP gurus who are now pushing Mutharika to fire Nundwe, who he just appointed two weeks ago after some sections of the Army expressed disappointment with the then Army Commander Griffin Supuni-Phiri,” said the source.
Government insiders corroborated the story saying the matter was discussed at Sanjika Palace between some party officials and Mutharika.
“The party gurus feel Nundwe should be removed to send a strong message that Mutharika is indeed in control of things in the country. They said it was embarrassing that the soldiers beat up members of the ruling party in public and this is viewed like Mutharika is not in control,” said the source.
Military sources said Mutharika is looking at the profiles of Colonel Blaise Saenda, Commander of the 93rd Brigade and Lieutenant General Clement Namangale, Deputy Army Commander (Administration) to replace Nundwe.
“Namangale would be a great candidate but he comes from the Lhomwe belt and this may incense some people who accuse DPP of nepotism. Saenda too was close to Supuni-Phiri and was offered a post of Defence attaché at the United Nations in New York by Supuni-Phiri, so this may also not work in his favour. They are caught between a rock and a hard place,” said Nyasa Times military sources [Names shielded].
Nundwe is said to have massive support of junior soldiers and any plans to unceremoniously remove him will have some reaction from the soldiers and President Mutharika has been advised to be cautious when dealing with this matter.
Soon after his appointment, Nundwe said people are free to demonstrate as long as they do not trample upon the rights of others and assured that the Army will protect Malawians and property from both outside and inside forces.
Nundwe said people have a right to demonstrate when aggrieved and no one should infringe on anyone’s right since Malawi is a democratic State.
“My priority is, first of all, to ensure that Malawi is sovereign. I will also ensure that Malawi is peaceful. The Malawi Defence Force (MDF) will protect everyone without considering their tribe or anything,” he said.
One of the victims of DPP the terror at the shopping mall included Chitawira resident Maness Nyirongo who sustained bruises in the face ,commended the soldiers for being the ‘people’s army’.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :