The former ruling United Democratic Front (UDF) has asked government to desists from making “wild accusations” in the wake of a gang terrorising trouser-wearing women by stripping off their clothes.
In a statement issued by the party’s deputy spokesman Ken Ndanga, UDF says it in its strongest terms the conduct of some hooligans masquerading as street vendors who are harassing innocent women and girls by striping them naked in the cities of Lilongwe and Mzuzu.
“As a party the UDF gallantly fought for freedom including that of dressing in Malawi and we believe that all people regardless of gender must enjoy this freedom at all times,” the statement said.
“Further more the UDF believes that the conduct of these thugs amounts to violence against women which has no place in the democratic Malawi,” he added.
UDF urged the police to swiftly investigate this matter and bring the perpetrators to book.
Police said on Wednesday they had arrested 15 “thugs” in the capital Lilongwe for terrorising women by stripping them of their trousers or shorts and robbing them.
“The UDF is a ware that vendors in all the cities in the country have their leadership .As such it is the responsibility of such leadership to make sure that these thugs do not continue to ruin the reputation of street vendors in Malawi,” UDF said in the statement.
The party also urged government to desist from making wild accusations against any political organization without proof of its involvement in these barbaric acts.
Information Minister Patricia Kaliati said this at a news conference in Lilongwe that government suspects there could be some people operating from behind the scenes inciting young men to strip women naked.
But Ndanga said in the statement that “traditionally Malawians are not violent people and all citizens must work together in preserving this peace at all times.”