Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and UDF alliance pesidential pair Peter Mutharika and Atupele Muluzi have condemned Friday’s political violence that resulted in the injury of several journalists that were part of vice president Saulos Chilima’s convoy.
Chilima and his opposition Tonse Alliance partners were canvassing for votes in the Lhomwe belt ahead of the forthcoming presidential re-run when their convoy was accosted by suspected political thugs who pelted the cars with stones, resulting in injuries to some members of the media who were part of the convoy.
In a statement released by presidential spokesman Mgeme Kalilani, Mutharika also roped in political violence that took place at Nsundwe a couple of days ago alongside the Phalombe saga.
“The President is informed that community members from Nsundwe who recently defected from the Malawi Congress Party and joined the Democratic Progressive Party(DPP) are being displaced from their homes. Some have had their houses destroyed and are being chased from the community for choosing to support the Democratic Progressive Party. Such behaviour is barbaric,” says Mutharika in the statement.
Mutharika noted that political violence has no place in a democracy and it should be condemned in the strongest terms.
“While on the same matter, the President would like to also register his disappointment with the conduct of opposition political party leaders in relation to political violence and hate speech in the country,” he says.
Mutharika, who has been conspicuously missing on the campaign trail due to reported self-isolation over coronavirus precaution, further blamed opposition leaders for fanning political violence.
“The political violence in Phalombe and Mulanje on Friday comes on the background of opposition party leaders and their supporters celebrating and praising the violence opposition-sponsored hoodlums inflicted on innocent Democratic Progressive Party supporters who were innocently escorting the President’s convoy in Ndirande Township recently.
“Further, the political violence in Mulanje and Phalombe comes against a background of irresponsible verbal attacks on prominent personalities and some tribes in the country at Njamba Freedom Park in Blantyre by senior members of the so-called Tonse Alliance. Such conduct is inflammatory and irresponsible. It must stop.”
Mutharika called on politicians to be responsible with their utterances and avoid deliberately insulting and provoking other people in the name of doing politics.
“As a true democrat, Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika reiterates that our politics and political campaigns should be issue based. It should be devoid of hate speech, tribal profiling and personal attacks. Politics is supposed to be a competition of policies and ideologies, not otherwise.
“Finally, the President would like to emphasize that he strongly condemns violence in whatever form. His Excellency, Prof Arthur Peter Mutharika is calling upon the police to investigate all cases of violence and make sure that all those perpetrating violence in the name of politics are brought to book,” the statement reads.
Meanwhile, Muluzi has also joined Mutharika in condemning the violence.
“I would like to join His Excellency the State President Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika in condemning all forms of political violence as we head towards fresh Presidential elections this year. Whether it is hate speeches, heckling of opponents, spreading disinformation to incite hate, or it is physical violence against those of a different political allegiance, it has no place in our beautiful Malawi. We appeal for tolerance and an issue based campaign,” the UDF leader said.
He added: “His Excellency President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika has consistently stated that If Malawi, is to flourish as a nation, we must remain united as One people and remain tolerant of each other’s views. That means that we, the political leaders, must listen and hear all points of view regardless of where they come from. That cannot be achieved unless we are tolerant and respectful of all our brothers and sisters.
“I trust that the aggressors of violence will be brought to justice and we must ensure that as we all move towards the elections, we work harder together to uphold the rule of law and maintain a peaceful Malawi.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :