Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) director of operations Ben Phiri is lying in agony at the Blantyre Adventist Hospital (BAH) following an assault on Monday night.
In an interview from his hospital bed yesterday, Phiri, who is also personal assistant (PA) to DPP presidential candidate Peter Mutharika, alleged to have been assaulted by a group of 15 men led by a man he identified as People’s Party (PP) director of youth Lemani Chapitapansi.
He said he sustained internal injuries. He fidgeted throughout the interview in an apparent display of pain, and spoke in a very low tone as he described his ordeal. He referred further questions to DPP spokesperson Nicholas Dausi who was with him during the assault.
Dausi said he was working with Phiri at the business centre of Sunbird Mount Soche in the evening where they met PP acting secretary general Paul Maulidi.
Dausi said they briefly conversed with Maulidi after which he (Maulidi) left the room. He said barely three minutes of Maulidi’s departure, the men stormed the business centre, led by Chapitapansi, and pounced on the two.
“I sensed danger and went to the hotel management for security. Before long, I was attacked, but I managed to defend myself, but some of the men had started beating Ben before dragging him outside. They later whisked him away,” said Dausi.
Maulidi’s number went unanswered but he told Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) that he indeed met Phiri and Dausi whom he joked with before leaving the room.
PP deputy publicity secretary Ken Msonda said it was wrong for DPP to drag a peaceful and democratic party in someone’s private life.
Southern Region and Blantyre police were unavailable to comment on the matter or if anybody had been arrested. National Police spokesperson Rhoda Manjolo said she was at the hospital while her deputy Kelvin Maigwa referred the issue back to her as he did not have information.