Malawi Congress Party (MCP) vice-president Mohammed Sidik Mia has said they are now more determined than ever to fight the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in next year’s elections after police used teargas and fired bullets in the air to disperse the party gathering in Blantyre .
Police fired teargas canisters and bullets when Mia was distributing MCP cloth to supporters in Blantyre after he addressed them in down town the commercial city.
Mia said he will stick it out despite the intimidation from the DPP.
“If the idea was to scare us into submission then it has failed,” said defiant Mia.
“This is unfortunate. We are a democratic country and people should be free to assemble. There was no violence and the police did not even warn the people that they should leave. Without any prior warning they just came and started firing teargas. That was very unprofessional,” he said.
Mia said what the police did to disrupt their peaceful meeting is an informal attempt to ban MCP, the people’s freedoms of assembly, movement and association.
He said MCP will remain focussed on the struggle for democratic change in the country.
“We will not be swayed by desperate actions by a desperate political party,” he said.
The distruption of MCP meeting comes after 13 opposition political parties, including People’s Party (PP) and Alliance for Democracy (Aford), have warned President Peter Mutharika’s administration against repressive actions and persecutions reminiscent of the one-party State.
In a statement seen by Nyasa Times in the wake of what they described as “entrenched and overreaching tendency” by the regime to harass critics using State agents such as Malawi Police Service (MPS) and Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA), the parties noted that Mutharika’s administration was showing traits of a one party regime.
The parties that include Progressive People’s Movement (PPM), Malawi Forum for Unity and Development (Mafunde), People’s Transformation (Petra) and Assembly for Democracy and Development (ADD) have appealed to the international community and donors to step up their scrutiny over the Mutharika’s regime because “democratic gains previously made have been considerably depleted”.
Malawi government spokesperson Nicholas Dausi has dismissed the accusations.