The UN rights commmission has denounced violence targeting the opposition by Malawi’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and and attacks against persons with albinism as the country heads towards watershed tripartite elections on May 21 2019.
In a media statement, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Rupert Colville, said: “ We are concerned that so far no one has been brought to justice for any of the series of politically motivated attacks that have been taking place since last year.”
The UN calls on authoritiries to ensure that the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly – essential conditions for credible elections – are fully protected.
Tensions are rising in southern African developing nation ahead of the May 21 election when voters will choose a President, Members of Parliament and Councillors.
The UN noted that over the past two weeks, the country registered a number of political violence cases, including the assault of Mulanje South legislator and UTM director of youth Bon Kalindo, assault of MCP supporter Edward Govati in Blantyre and the torching of MCP flags in Mangochi.
It also noted that on Sunday DPP cadets attacked some of members of Vice-President Saulos Chilima’s UTM Party on their way to a rally in Makanjir, Mangochi.
In the Mangochi political violence, Veronica Katanga, 32, and her UTM Party colleagues were seen in a video clip being victimised by suspected DPP)operatives. The clip went viral on the Internet on Sunday.
In the clip, the woman and some men were seen being ordered to take off their branded UTM Party T-shirts with Chilima’s portrait emblazoned on the chest.
The woman was also seen covering her exposed bra with a cloth (chitenje) offered by well-wisher
The UN spokesman said they welcome the fact that, on 23 January, President Mutharika condemned political violence, including acts aimed at humiliating women in the political arena.
On the attacks on persons with albinism, the UN pointed out that they have also increased in the run up to the elections.
“We call on the authorities to step up their efforts to protect persons with albinism, and to prosecute and punish alleged perpetrators,” said the statementFollow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :