Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has distanced itself from actions of party cadres who literally took over Capital Hill on Tuesday and forced civil servants out of their offices.
The protesters’ march from MCP headquarters at City Centre to government’s seat was themed Mutharika Must Fall and meant to exert pressure on President Peter Mutharika, who has been sworn-in for a second five-year term of office, to step down.
MCP publicity secretary said party leadership did not sanction any member of the party to invade Capital Hill, the seat of government and disrupt business there.
“What the leadership of the party has been calling for are peaceful protests,” said Munthali.
The marchers included MCP deputy campaign director George Zulu, re-elected Lilongwe City South East parliamentarian Ulemu Msungama and newly elected Lilongwe City Centre legislator Alfred Jiya.
Munthali, however did not say if disciplinary action would be taken against the protest leaders who sanction the cadres to intimidate civil servants at Capital Hill.
He said the position of the party was declared by MCP president Lazarus Chakwera on Friday that they would pursue its case through the court while ensuring that law and order reigns.
The MCP action also annoyed Civil Servants Trade Union (CSTU) which condemned what it described as “the harassment” of its members whom it says were not elected.
The Union has strongly condemned the picketing at Capital Hill, saying civil servants serve the government of the day and Malawians at large.
In a statement issued last evening and seen by Nyasa Times, CSTU general secretary Madalitso Njolomole said civil servants are not elected officials but they serve the government as well as all Malawians.
Reads the statement in part: “CSTU is urging all civil servants to continue with their daily responsibilities at their working place.”
Chief secretary to government Lloyd Muhara said the law would take its course against those who invade and disrupt government business at the seat of government.
Adding his voice in quotes reported in the press, social and political commentator Rafiq Hajat said shutting down Capital Hill was not in the best interests of the country as the action could negatively impact on delivery of services.
He said: “Given that MCP has launched a case in court, by going to Capital Hill they clearly lost the plot. MCP is entitled to peacefully demonstrate, but not to cripple the government.”
Hajat warned MCP leadership against being driven by anger in its reactions.
While commending police for exercising restraint throughout, he advised MCP leadership to find other ways for their supporters to express their frustrations than shutting down the government.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :