It is only when the new Tonse Alliance-led government of President Lazarus Chakwera arrests its own members suspected to have committed various crimes before that Malawians would stop suspecting that recent arrests of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) leaders and supporters are politically-motivated, witch-hunting and persecution, leader of opposition, Kondwani Nankhumwa has said.
In a recent interview with Rainbow TV, Nankhumwa said in DPP where he serves as Vice President for Southern Region, they are not against arresting suspected criminals but selective justice where only DPP leaders and sympathizers are targeted.
“As the case is now, the Tonse government is pursuing selective justice. We’re not saying we are sacred cows and neither are those in the Tonse Alliance government. There are several high profile Tonse leaders and members who have criminal cases hanging over their heads. Let them face the law the same way DPP members are being arrested,” said the youthful politician who served as Leader of Government Business in Parliament in the previous DPP government of the immediate past president Peter Mutharika.
The Chakwera adminstration, which has been in place for four weeks, has launched a rapid crackdown against DPP leaders, members and sympathizers, locking them up on accusations of corruption, theft, abuse of office, murder and attempted murder, among other crimes.
In a recent letter addressed to President Chakwera, DPP Secretary General Gelzeder Jeffrey claimed the arrests had nothing to do with the rule of law but borne out of hatred by the new administration against sympathisers of DPP and Mutharika.
She said her party had expected government “to immediately start implementing social and economic development initiatives based on campaign promises, as a priority, instead of arresting DPP members on politically-motivated charges”.
According to Jeffrey, the DPP is a big institution, which played and still plays a critical role in entrenching and sustaining democracy in Malawi. She warned President Chakwera that “her party would not be cowed into submission or relegated to the footnote of politics by any arbitrary arrests and intimidation”.
During his inauguration as President, Chakwera pledged to “clear the rubble of corruption” based on the rule of law and not political victimization.
He pledged that he would serve all Malawians regardless of their political, regional, tribal or religious inclination.