The presidential press secretary and spokesperson Mgeme Kalilani has faulted Vice-President Saulos Chilima for accusing President Peter Mutharika of failing to curb political violence as the country moves towards the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections.
Chilima, who is also president of UTM Party registered after he severed ties with the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) last June, told a news conference at Bingu International Convention Centre in Lilongwe that DPP was sponsoring political terror.
But Kalilani said Chilima fell short of providing evidenceof his claims.
He accused Chilima of exploiting the violence for political gain and described his statement as a pack of falsehoods.
“I don’t agree that the President hasn’t condemned violence. He has strongly condemned the violence on several occasions on rallies and issued a strong worded violence. It is an unsubstantiated claim that the violence is being perpetrated by DPP cadets.
“No one has even identified those arrested in Mangochi as DPP cadets. Let him be factual or challenge what the police have said,” said Kalilani in quotes reported by The Nation newspaper.
During his ddress that had people glued to Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) television and radio that aired it live, Chilima also challenged Mutharika’s claims that opposition parties have hired election rigging experts.
But Kalilani also said the President was within his rights to warn masterminds of the alleged vote rigging plot.
Kalilani said Chilima “cannot tell the President what to do. The government machinery will pounce on the rigging plot when it is necessary”.
Ironically, after being declared winner of the 2014 presidential race, Mutharika is on record to have dismissed his predecessor Joyce Banda’s claims that the election was rigged, telling British Broadcasting Corporation on May 22 2014: “I don’t see how an opposition party can rig elections.”