President Peter Mutharika’s fresh calls for peace talks and reconciliation with opposition political parties, civil society organisations (CSOs) and other stakeholders has drawn mixed reactions as parties have stood their ground saying, there cannot be peace without electoral justice.
Main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) secretary general Eisenhower Mkaka said the opposition cannot enter into peace talks with President Mutharika before the verdict of the Constitutional Court ruling on the landmark presidential election petition case.
“Mutharika should just wait for the outcome of the court verdict. How can there be peace without justice?” said Mkaka.
His views have been shared by the UTM Party spokesperson Joseph Chidanti Malunga.
Mutharika called for a political war ceasefire, saying the political standoff is scaring away potential foreign investors.
Mutharika said this on Friday in Lilongwe on departure for the United Kingdom where he will attend the Africa-UK investment summit.
“Foreign investors are reluctant to come to Malawi because of what is happening [political instability that has followed the May 21 presidential elections results dispute],” said Mutharika.
He then extended his olive branch to the opposition political parties and the human rights activists, inviting them for peace talks to end the current political deadlock over the highly disputed elections which has put Malawi virtually in lock down.
“I call upon the opposition and the human rights activists to stop the protests. The point has been made, we have heard you. Now come, let us talk,” said Mutharika.
He said both the opposition and the human rights activists should now turn to the agenda of building Malawi.
Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) chairperson Timothy Mtambo accused Mutharika of empty political rhetoric.
He said Mutharika has on several occasions pretended that he wants peace but behind the curtains he eats his own words.
“He has called us a terrorist group. A person who wants peace cannot say that,” said Mtambo.
However, Lilongwe-based political scientist Godfrey Pumbwa said Mutharika’s offer would help to cool down the current political temperature.
HRDC has been organising nationwide demonstrations to force Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah to resign for allegedly mismanaging the May 2019 Tripartite Elections.
They are also organising protests to force the arrest police officers implicated in the Msundwe rapes and the Anti-Corruption Bureau to name those involved in the attempt to bribe the Constitutional Court judges in the election case.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :