Malawi ruling party plans to have para-military wing

By Charles Kufa, Nyasa Times

Before being fired as governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) secretary-general on Sunday, Bintony Kutsaira had chaired a meeting last Friday at Civic Offices in Lilongwe where it was agreed that the Malawi Police and the Army were too soft on the anti-government demonstrators on July 20, 2011 and that here was need for a DPP para-military wing.

The meeting, which was also attended by Wakuda Kamanga and former MCP hitman, Damazio Shumba, agreed to impress on President Bingu wa Mutharika to create of another paramilitary wing of the party like the Malawi Young Pioneers (MYP) which was created by the then ruling Malawi Congress Party (MCP).

They want Mutharika to authorize the training of the party’s militias drawn from the infamous DPP cadets so that these cadets can go through military.

Ready to kill: DPP youth cadets in Blantyre on 19 July with pangas

DPP cadets will be used to deal with anyone who dares criticize the president and his administration.

According to an insider, the meeting also agreed to send cadets to attack and destroy property belonging to opposition and civil society leaders who are suspected to have been masterminds of the July 20 demonstrations.

The meeting also agreed that the cadets should not listen to any call that stops them from carrying out any violent acts.

A cadet, according to a police source, can only be found in the armed forces or police service.

The three were expected to meet again this week to plan the way forward but it is not clear whether the meeting will go ahead following the dismissal of Kutsaira as secretary general. Ironically, Kamanga succeeded him.

DPP spokesman Hetherwick Ntaba said he was not aware of the meeting.

But Mutharika is on record telling his youths that their duty was not just to offer morale during party functions but to also act as agents of development.

A few months ago Mutharika also inflicted fear on Malawians when he ordered his DPP youths during a political rally held at Kamuzu Stadium to beat up anyone questioning his administration.

Since then the DPP youth militia have indeed taken heed of the directive threatening a number of people particularly members of the civil society.

The DPP youth militia recently  turned a graveyard in Balaka into a battlefield after failing to agree on the way forward during burial of Daniel Kudonto, who until his death on road accident was DPP Southern Region Campaign Director.

The marauding DPP youths went as far as beating Chief Mponda and stripped off his trousers in full view of hundreds of mourners.

They DPP cadets have also torched two vehicles of Zodiak Radio and AXA bus.

A number of people Nyasa Times spoke to expressed concern with the powers given to the DPP youths saying “this is the start of another MYP [Malawi Young Pioneers].”

 

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