United Democratic Front (UDF) has made a stinging attack on its political bedmate, the ruling party, accusing it of using the UDF supporters in political violence clandestine operations.
UDF vice president for the eastern region Lilian Patel flanked by other senior party members from the region warned she would reveal more if the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which she did not name directly, did not stop the political violence.
“We therefore condemn anybody who perpetrate violence in the guise of our party supporter,’’ said Patel.
Patel said the party image was dented because the political terrorists were using some of its boys to attack people, giving an example in Mangochi where the roughnecks undressed a woman just because she put on United Transformation Movement (UTM) regalia.
One of the boys who attacked Veronica Katanga has been identified as a ‘bouncer’ who has been providing security to both UDF and DPP rallies.
“This is not the Malawi the UDF fought for in 1992 and 1993 up to 1994. The party feels there is systematic propaganda to tarnish the image of the UDF. The party will expose the perpetrators of the political violence,” said Patel.
She warned that all its members used by the DPP in perpetrating political violence would be expelled from the party after thorough investigations that the party has launched are over.
“The UDF under Dr Bakili Muluzi joined forces with Alliance for Democracy (AFORD)’s Chakufwa Chihana to fight for multi-party democracy, how can we then turn around fight to mete violence on other parties, where is the pluralism then?’’ she asked.
Patel also gave examples of instanceswhere the UDF held its rallies within walking distance with venues where the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) was also meeting its followers without incidence of violence.
‘’ Malawi has changed; you cannot win an election while abusing the rights of the same electorates you expect to vote for you. We are therefore going to expel from the party anybody found engaged in these acts. We are also asking for continued sensitisation of women and the general citizenry on where to reports acts of human rights violation, including politically motivated crimes,’’ she summarised.
Earlier, Aisha Mambo, who is secretary for Women Caucus in parliament, said she is dismayed that men who come from an area whose main faith teaches women to cover themselves thoroughly could ignore this and undress a woman in public.
‘’Islam teaches women to cover almost all their bodies, how can one then violate this teaching in the name of politics? We will ask the wrath of God to fall on these perpetrators,’’ she warned. She also called on women to stand up for their rights and never cower in the face of law breakers.
This is the first time that the UDF has openly attacked the DPP, a show that the political relationship between the two parties is strenuous and might be over.
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