Outgoing US ambassador to Malawi Virginia Palmer has called for post-election peace, saying those with complaints on the discredited May 21 Tripartite Elections, should seek justice from the courts.
Palmer said this on Wednesday evening during a farewell cocktail in the Capital City, just hours before herself was caught up in cross fire between disgruntled Malawi Congress Party (MCP) cadres and the police.
Palmer was teargassed as she was meeting with MCP president Lazarus Chakwera the next day, Thursday at party headquarters in Lilongwe.
Ambassador Palmer confirmed she was meeting Chakwera on Thursday as she has been meeting with senior government officials and leaders of major political parties including former president Bakili Muluzi for final meetings as she prepares to depart Malawi.
Palmer said she was forced to hurriedly leave MCP headquarters as police fired teargas at protests outside.
MCP supporters had gathered in the capital Lilongwe in an ongoing protest campaign after the May 21 presidential election, which their leader Chakwera narrowly lost.
“It was my farewell call and I was saying thank you for the friendship and for the important role that he [Chakwera] has done for Malawi over the four-and-a-half years I have been in Malawi,” Palmer said.
Commenting on polls dispute Palmer said: “The election observers said the elections were well managed, transparent and credible but if there are grievances, the complainants should use the judicial system.”
She also asked the government and opposition to work together for the good of Malawi.
“I just call on all parties in Malawi to exercise restraint and proceed peacefully while the MCP court case is going forward,” Palmer said, adding “This is a peaceful country and a democratic country and we all need to respect these norms.”
Chief secretary to government Lloyd Muhara said Malawi will remember Palmer for a good number of development initiatives which include the US$350 Millennium Challenge Compact which seeks to improve electricity generation and distribution.
He also said Palmer facilitated favourable policies to enable Malawi start exporting sugar to the US.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :