Directors of youth in various political parties Sunday blamed the escalation of poltical violence during the electoral process on the Malawi Police Service (MPS), saying it is “usually” selective and silent when the ruling party is involved in the vice.
During a heated debate organised by Youth-Decide Campaign—a national youth governance initiative developed to galvanise positive youth energies and active participation ahead of, during and after the 2019 tripartite elections—director of youths from UDF, DPP, MCP, UTM and PP said political violence was, to a greater extent, fueled by MPS’ inactiveness.
People’s Party (PP) director of youth, Ipyana Nthakomwa, got emotional and told commissioner of police, George Kainja, that they [MPS] would “pay in heaven” for “condoning” violence in the country.
According to Nthakomwa, “the Police is selective in the manner it handles issues to do with political violence. When it is the opposition in the wrong, they rush to act; but when it is the ruling party, there is always silence.”
Richard Chimwendo Banda, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) director of youths, also took a swipe on the police but also said it was imperative that youths themselves train themselves to curb the vice.
Said Banda: “We should, as youths, focus on issue-based campaign, because it is the only way we can move away from violence.”
But Kainja, whose kindred was accused of “mere rhetoric”, assured the youths that MPS would work to its best to ensure that issues of political violence during campaign are prevented and dealt with decisively.
Sam Alufandika, Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chief elections officer, said some political parties use “violence as a strategy” but bemoaned the notion saying it never works.
“Violence, in fact, makes political parties further unpopular. It is my hope and wish that whatever we discuss and agree tonight, will change our perspective as a country in regarding violence as a strategy to win elections,” said Alufandika.
In an interview before the debate, Youth-Decide Campaign team leader Charles Kajoloweka, said the aim of the debate was to provide an opportune platform for citizens and stakeholders to hold relevant authorities including the Malawi Police Service, political parties and civil society actors accountable on their role in dealing with political violence thereby calling relevant authorities and stakeholders to duty in promoting peace and political co-existence as the country approaches the 2019 tripartite elections.
“In addition, the debate is also hoped to create a platform for raising awareness among citizens and stakeholders on political violence and their role in mitigating it,” said Kajoloweka.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :