Thyolo Police have arrested five people in connection with the assault of eight supporters of the ruling People’s Party (PP) at a function that took place on Tuesday at Kalimbuka Primary school in the area of Traditional Authority Chimaliro in Thyolo District.
President Joyce Banda was at the function where she distributed maize flour to members of vulnerable families that have been affected by hunger.
The five were apprehended near Chipendo Village in T.A. Chimaliro’s area in Thyolo where they also attacked a woman.
The suspects picked Police are Francis Ngongoliwa, Harrison Munlo, Dafter Lucius, Victor Chilambe and Limbani Tensoni.
According to Police Commissioner for the Southern Region Rodrick Paul Kanyama the five are being kept at Thyolo Police Station and will be formally charged in due course.
A PP member Brown Mpinganjira who hails from Mulanje District and the Publicity Secretary of PP Hophmally Makande spoke strongly against the attacks which they alleged were carried out by supporters of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
“It is sad to note that there are people who want to use violence in a democracy where anyone is free to hold rallies and meetings. We must be tolerant and everyone must accept that there can only be one President at any given time,” said Mpinganjira.
PP Provincial Chairperson for the South, Ali Mbalaka warned opposition that they can hit back.
“I want to plainly put it on record that this is the last time we are tolerating these attacks because our youth have the energy to fight back,” said the PP Provincial Chairperson adding that PP youth will not disgrace its leader by engaging in violence.
According to the Police Commissioner Kanyama more arrests are expected in connection with the incident which President Banda has described as unfortunate.
Reports from Chipendo area indicate that the DPP supporters are being paid to carry out clandestine activities but the police say are still investigating the matter.
Thyolo district is the home of former president of Malawi late Professor Bingu wa Mutharika and Kalimbuka Primary School ground where president Banda went to distribute flour to vulnerable households falls in the constituency of Minister of Gender, Children and Social Welfare, Anita Kalinde.