Mulli, Ben Phiri face arrest: JB says Thyolo killings ‘uncalled for’

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) president Peter Mutharika’s Personal Assistant Ben Phiri, Mutharika’s chief security aide Chisale and Leston Mulli, the Managing Director of Mulli Brothers are facing arrest for allegedly orchestrating a violence that led to a police officer and a civilian killed in the tea-growing district of Thyolo on Sunday.

The violence occurred after President Joyce Banda has commissioned electricity at a Chimaliro village clinic in the area of her main opponent Peter Mutharika, presidential candidate for former president Bingu wa Mutharika’s DPP.

National Police Spokesperson Rhoda Manjolo confirmed to Nyasa Times on Monday that police shot-to-death a civilian in self- defence and confirmed that a police officer who has been killed is Senior Superintendent Julius from Police Mobile Service (PMS) B Company.

Mulli:  They can find me at the funeral
Mulli: They can find me at the funeral

The deceased is reported to have been killed by angry civilians in cold blood after he shot dead a civilian, whose details have not yet been established.

On the impending arrests of Ben Phiri, Mulli and Chisale, the Police spokeswoman said the law enforces are “hunting down” the perpetrators of the violence.

When contacted for comment, Mulli said he was on his way to a funeral of father to DPP’s official Noel Mansangwi.

“I am on my way to a funeral of Masangwi’s father in Liwonde. If they want to arrest me let them come and find me there,” he said and disconnected his phone.

DPP Secretary General Jean Kalilani distanced his party from the violence saying the purported thugs were not members of her party. She declined to comment further.

Meanwhile, President Banda said she learnt with shock that a police officer was attacked with an axe after she left the area.

“It was really uncalled for,” said Banda, and wondered why there was violence when she did not attack anyone in her speech saying, “I just talked development.”

Banda said trouble begun after a police officer opened fire to break an altercation when DPP Cadets attacked the rally.

The President said another police officer who was attacked is battling   for his life in hospital.

The President has condemned Mutharika, for the violence, saying he is allowed to conduct campaign meetings in the eastern region of Zomba, her home district, without incident.

Tusekele Mwanyongo, an officer at President Banda communications office, said the suspected DPP supporters stoned people and smashed car windscreens at a rally addressed by the President.

Mwanyongo said two President Banda’s People’s Party (PP) members, Peter Chasweka and Patrick January, suffered deep cuts on their fore-heads following extensive pelting of stones.

“A PP Nissan Voxy, registration number BS 3879 used by the governing PP Provincial Chairperson for Southern Region, Isaac Nyakamera, and other PP and government vehicles were bashed and windows shattered, injuring most of the occupants,” he said.

Mwanyongo said a Toyota Prado belonging to the state-owned Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), was also extensively damaged and the particles of a broken windscreen seriously injured the eyes of two MBC journalists, Ronald Amos and Lorraine Kalilombe.

Director of Programmes at MBC, Hamilton Chimala, confirmed the incident in an interview  with Nyasa Times on Sunday. He explained that the two MBC employees were rushed to the Lions Eye Hospital at Queen Elizabeth Central for treatment.

Mutharika's aide Ben Phiri
Mutharika’s aide Ben Phiri

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