Nkhata Bay South legislator Ken Zikhale Ng’oma (Malawi Congress Party-MCP) has implicated Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Kondwani Nankhumwa and deputy minister of defence Chipiliro Mpinganjira as architects of the violence which Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) cadets unleashed to thwart a planned Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) march in Blantyre on Wednesday.
Zikhale Ng’oma made the accusation in the National Assembly on Thursday that he had eveidence that Nankhumwa who was opening the 16th National Agriculture Fair when the violence occurred, was talking with Mpinganjira on the attacks on HRDC.
But Mpinganjira rising on a point of order challenged Zikhale to “furnish the House” with his evidence.
“It is petty politics,” said Mpinganjira.
He admitted that he was at the opening the 16th National Agriculture Fair because he is a legislator of Blantyre City Centre and talked to Nankhumwa but wondered how one can claim they were discussing about violence.
“I demand that he must furnish evidence of what he has alleged,” said Mpinganjira, a trained lawyer and son of veteran politician Brown Mpinganjira.
Speaker of Parliament Catherine Gotani said Zikhale should substantiate his claims with evidence which he claims to have.
“We can only judge if it is petty after he tenders his evidence,” said Madam Speaker.
Zikhale insisted the violence had a blessing of DPP top brass, saying the culprits were “clad in DPP T-shirts written Kondwani Nankhumwa, why is it that no one has been arrested? We expect the Minister of Agriculture to apologise for this.”
Minister of Homeland Security Nicholas Dausi on Thursday delivering a ministerial statement on the violence that left five people, including human rights activist Billy Mayaya, injured, faulted HRDC for allegedly organising a march without notifying Malawi Police Service (MPS) and Blantyre City Council 48 hours in advance as provided in the Police Act.
Dausi said Police and Malawi Defence Force (MDF) went to Kamuzu Stadium upper ground and made impromptu security arrangements upon learning that the demonstrators had assembled to march and to petition Electoral Commissions Forum on Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) Member States to remove Malawi Electoral Commission chairperson Jane Ansah as its president.
Said the minister: “A team of some senior police officers persuaded them not to proceed to Sunbird Mount Soche. The fear, Madam Speaker, was that they would endanger the international and local delegates attending this important meeting.
“They [protesters] were requested that since they had already gathered, very few people would be allowed to take their petition to an official from the Sadc meeting at Clock Tower and not Sunbird Mount Soche.”
Dausi said the demonstrators “were slightly below 200 in number” and were foiled near Chichiri Trade Fair Grounds where Minister oNankhumwa was opening the Agriculture Fair.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :