The governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has accused leader of opposition Lazarous Chakwera for writing the foreign missions on alleged threats to life of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) candidate for Nsanje Lalanje Constituency parliamentary by-elections slated for October 17, Lawrence Sitolo.
Chakwera wrote a letter copied to US embassy, Germany, European Union, British High Commission and the United Nations to report that Sitolo is living dangerously as DPP gurus are baying for his blood.
But DPP responded at a news conference which they addressed at Central Office of Information in Lilongwe, saying Chakwera should have reported the matter to “right institutions” such as Malawi Electoral Commission and Police and not donors.
“If MCP has evidence that their candidate is receiving threats, let them go and report to police,” government spokesman Nicholous Dausi said.
He said the “responsible agency” for handling cases of threats is the police not donors.
Dausi said MCP is “trying to drag members of the diplomatic community into partisan politics.”
Dausi said Chakwera had failed to report the alleged malpractices to constitutional institutions such as Malawi Police Service, Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) and Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), arguing this indicated his aim was simply to damage the relationship between donors and government.
“The fact that MCP has avoided all these relevant institutions attests to our position that the allegations they are making are a sympathy-seeking stunt, having already known they will lose as expected,” he said.
“We have constitutionally created bodies like the police which are responsible for probing crime and bribery, the Malawi Electoral Commission mandated to run any (by) elections.
“Any grievances affecting electoral matters should be reported to these bodies or the courts of law,” he explained.
The government spokesperson said Chakwera made the unsubstantiated allegation without checking and making proper analytical decisions.
He said what is even more worrisome is that Chakwera being an opposition party president, made the allegations to the donor community over a ‘mere’ partisan candidate in a by-election.
“This is just a by-election in a single constituency and what could have happened if it was a general election? And (the candidate in question) is someone not even recognized nor (has never been) a member of parliament.
“Chakwera is just trying to buy sympathy and by going to the donor community, Chakwera is expressing his ignorance on diplomatic institutions. When you are desperate into getting into government, this is the result; you do not go through the right channels,” said Dausi.
DPP spokesman Francis Kasaila accused MCP of using “desperate” measures.
In his letter, Chakwera says DPP top brass are persuading Sitolo to receive K100 million and withdraw his MCP membership then contest as an independent candidate or even withdraw from the race altogether to get a diplomatic posting with cash makeweight of K50 million.
He has also been offered to receive an MP’s salary and relate benefits from government if he does not contest.
Chakwera alleges in the letter that Sitolo is receiving phone calls from DPP operatives including Leston Mulli and Noel Masangwi “people who have allegedly been mentioned in some heinous acts like the death of Polytechnic student Robert Chasowa.”
The leader of opposition also informs the international community that Sitolo has also received calls from DPP regional governor for the south, Charles Mchacha and strongman Kondwani Nankhumwa (Minister and Leader of government business in parliament].
“Hon. Sitolo has recordings of the phone conversations with these people,” said Chakwera in the letter.
When contacted for comment, the mentioned DPP officials denied the allegations.
MCP deputy secretary general Eisenhower Mkaka said police and MEC are compromised which can not be helpful, indicating that DPP has a history of abductions and killings.
Mkaka said there is an issue if regime thugs violence at MCP rally in Mzuzu and police are yet to conclude the matter and a plot to set MCP headquarters on fir.
“We have no confidence in them. We have written donors because a diplomatic note is a standard practice anywhere in the world, there is nothing abnormal about it,” said Mkaka.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :