Malawians have taken up on social media to criticize President Peter Mutharika for failing to address the issue of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) youth cadets in his statement over the increasing incidents of political violence.
Mutharika, through his press secretary, Mgeme Kalilani, says in a statement that he will not tolerate any violence, whether political or purely criminal.
“What is even more worrying is the fact that some of such violence has been targeted at women. President Mutharika abhors lawlessness. The President, as a He-for-she champion, will not tolerate any acts deliberately calculated at humiliating women on the political space and creating politics of anarchy,” reads the statement in part.
However, Mutharika fails to directly to condemn the DPP rough necks who are the perpetrators of the violence and their masters, who are mostly top DPP officials.
Esau Chunda says in a Facebook post that what Mutharika has said is just a smokescreen.
“Why is he condemning now, a week after the incident occurred? Where was he all this time? I think he has been forced to issue a statement because of the pressure from the Women in Politics movement,” reads part of the post.
David Njala Banda accuses the President of shielding DPP cadets and their paymasters.
“We all know that the DPP cadets cannot act on their own. It is the party that is sponsoring them,” reads part of Banda’s post.
Political party leaders and civil rights activists who were the first to condemn the violence are yet to comment on Mutharika’s statement.
But Malawi Congress Party (MCP) presidential candidate Lazarus Chakwera has maintained that DPP is responsible of masterminding rising cases of political violence and that it should not deny this.
The MCP president and leader of opposition said the DPP rough necks have become so brazen and emboldened in their attacks that they do it all over the country, saying they do it on any opposition party; they do it without restraint and they do it with intent of inflicting maximum damage and instilling terror.
“At times, they have done it in full view of police officers and the State President and the State vice president, fully confident that they are above the law and immune from prosecution,” said the MCP leader.
This year alone, roughnecks suspected to be DPP youth cadets have assaulted UTM director of youth Bon Kalindo in Mulanje, harassed and forced UTM supporters—including a woman—to undress in Mangochi and beat up Malawi Congress Party (MCP) operative Edward Govati in Blantyre.
“It is ruling party cadets who have severely beaten up Mr. Govati of MCP at his home last night in Blantyre. It is ruling party cadets who stripped members of UTM in Mangochi. It is ruling party cadets who threatened me and my delegation with violence and barred us from attending the Chilembwe Memorial in Chiradzulu. It is ruling party cadets who disrupted a UTM meeting in Mulanje. It is ruling party cadets who disrupted the very house of parliament in Lilongwe,” said Chakwera.
Towards the end of last year, MEC led by its chairperson Jane Ansah engaged political leaders—including Mutharika, Vice-President Saulos Chilima, MCP president Lazarus Chakwera, Joyce Banda of PP and Atupele Muluzi of United Democratic Front (UDF)—in face-to-face meetings to commit to an issue-based and violence-free election campaign to ensure a free, fair and credible election.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :