Malawi opposition presses for Mutharika’s final push

Malawi opposition parties have ratcheted up political pressure on President Bingu wa Mutharika to release detained outspoken critic Ralph Kasambara by Monday or face  ‘social discontent’.

The parties said Mutharika administration should release Kasambara by 12 PM of Monday, 20th February 2012 or else they would use “political means” to have him freed.

They noted that the Mutharika government continues to hold Kasambara in open defiance of bail duly granted by a competent court of law.

“Should the government fail to comply, we will be left with no choice but to employ necessary and lawful political means to ensure his immediate release,” said opposition parties.

The opposition block threatens to mobilise its structures for the final push in the struggle for the removal of another dictatorship and ensure the establishment of democratic governance in the country.

“We would like to assure our respective members and the general public at large that this renewed collaboration amongst our political parties will continue beyond the matter of our fellow citizen, Mr. Kasambara, which we vow to see to its rightful conclusion,” said the statement.

“ Subsequent joint activities  will be announced in due course to ensure enhanced collaboration amongst ourselves as we continue to fight to safeguard our hard-won freedom and the integrity of our country. “

The statement  is signed by Friday Jumbe and  George  Ntafu (UDF), Kamuzu Chibambo (PETRA), Mark Katsonga Phiri (PPM), Gwanda Chakuamba (NRP), Kamlepo Kalua (MDP), Levison Ganiza  (Mafunde) and  Rev. Malawi Mtonga (People’s Party).

Stern -warning

Chakuamba told a news conference that he will not allow the DPP government to flout the Constitution, warning government, he is out for good to fight the “autocratic government.”

UDF’s Dr George Mtafu called Malawians to rise up and demand what belongs to them—democratic Malawi.

And two opposition lawmakers who visited Kasambara in hospital, Henry Duncan Phoya and Atupele Muluzi, said they concerned with the continued arbitrary and unlawful arrest of the prominent lawyer and equally concerned with the violence that is rearing its ugly head against a growing band of Mutharika critics.

“Malawi is fast entering into a dark phase of its history in which people do not want to abide by the laws,” said Phoya, a lawyer himself.

Muluzi expressed grave concerns with the return of detention without trial and political prisoners, calling Kasambara a victim of “political persecution which must not be not be tolerated in the current human rights generation.”

Government spokeswoman, Patricia Kaliati, claimed the opposition plan to launch an Arab spring style protest to incite citizens to carry out violent demonstrations against the regime.

She said government is aware of the opposition plot to take over power not through the legal process of ballot.

Kaliati gave a two-word response to the opposition: “Go hang.”

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