YouthDecide Campaign (YDC), a consortium of some youth civil society organisations in Malawi championing the implementation of a national youth manifesto, has called upon President Peter Mutharika to halt the rising wave of political violence and intolerance in the country.
Pouring out its misgivings in a strongly worded statement made available to Nyasa Times, YDC has categorically condemned the raging political violence and also asked the Police to investigate the petrol-bombing of a family in Lilongwe.
Malawi is witnessing ugly scenes of violence ahead of a fresh presidential election scheduled for 2 July, 2020.
The worst of such incidences is the petrol-bombing of a UTM party office in Lilongwe, which played home to a family.
The attack claimed two innocent lives–including a minor–and left five other family members with horrible burns.
And in its statement signed by Team Leader Charles Kajoloweka , YDC says it abhors this bizzare and heartless attack.
“We strongly condemn this act of political cowardice and call on authorities to investigate the heinous attack and bring the perpetrators to justice.
“The Police should impartially investigate the anonymous criminals who petrol-bombed the family and murdered two of it’s members in cold blood,” reads the statement.
Other incidences of political terror have been reported in some districts, notably Mulanje on 2 May 2020 and Balaka on 3 May 2020.
YDC says it is particularly concerned with the atrocities against opposition parties and women.
The youth group says the violence in Mulanje and the burning of a vehicle belonging to UTM party Director for Women for Eastern Region, Shahida Hussein, is unacceptable, undemocratic and criminal.
“Most disturbingly, authorities including President Peter Mutharika, Minister of Homeland Security and the Police, paradoxically remain unresponsive, unmoved, elusive and absent despite rising calls for law and order.
“The absence of decisive leadership to clamp down on the horrifying wave of criminal terror causes deadening concern and only nourishes public fears that the perpetrators could be agents of the ruling elite.
“When governors abdicate their duty and tolerate forces of utter criminality, tolerance suffers and democracy is mercilessly strangled by slayers who will stop at nothing if not kept in check,” further reads the statement.
It adds that YDC is distressed that National Registration Bureau (NRB) and Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) have suffered similar violent attacks during which voter and national registration equipment has been vandalised with impunity.
“We have also seen disturbing and intolerable videos on the social media in which some self-styled DPP youth vigilante groups have declared Mulanje a political no-go zone for opposition parties and threatened violence against them with no police intervention in sight.
“We detest the culture of violence and the ironic lack of sound government leadership in restoring rule of law and tolerance as political thuggery brutally reduces our democratic nation to a state of blood.
“As the country counts down to the fresh presidential election, political intolerance and thuggery pose a worrying threat to a peaceful and credible election. It also poses a threat to the active participation of vulnerable groups, including young women and persons with disability, in the elections and late alone politics,” says YDC.
The grouping also calls upon all political leaders and the youth to observe peace in the countdown to the fresh presidential election.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :