People’s Land Organisation (PLO) has set this October 26 for the swearing-in of its ‘government’.
Addressing at least 100 of his followers at Khonjeni Turn-off in Thyolo yesterday, self-styled PLO leader Vincent Wandale said the swearing-in ceremony for the president, his deputy, Cabinet ministers, head of the Judiciary and head of the Legislature will take place at the Malawi University of Science and Technology (Must), the new headquarters of his government.
Speaking amid ululations from his supporters, Wandale said that after the ceremony, they will start recruiting civil servants to help ministers implement his government’s constitution and write letters to other countries requesting for diplomatic ties.
“It is going to be a great ceremony; we have already started inviting other heads of governments to join us, notably Zimbabwe and the Vatican. We have already started writing letters to different countries to start recognising us as an independent country,” he indicated.
When asked why there was no police presence at the venue, National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera asked for more time before commenting on the matter.
However, Wandale said he went to the venue prepared for an encounter with the police, but was equally surprised to see no police officers in sight. He said that means the Malawi government has accepted the existence of Must.
He took an extra time to educate his followers on the laws of self-determination and highlighted that he is working on suing President Peter Mutharika, his government and the Malawi Police Service for war crimes, crimes against humanity and treason for the treatment the Malawi government has been subjecting him and his followers to.
Wandale further said Must citizens will undergo military training so that they are able to protect themselves and their country.
“After the swearing-in ceremony, the Malawi government will no longer be allowed to collect tax in our territory. If they are challenging us let them come forward,” he challenged.
Asked why he is doing all this, Wandale said people of Mulanje and Thyolo are determined to get back the land which colonial masters stole from them. He said people in the two districts are languishing in poverty because they do not have any land to cultivate.
“We have tried several times to negotiate with the Malawi government on this but they have shown no commitment. We have even asked their President to call for a referendum and hear the views of the people but they chose to ignore us. But we are not mincing any words, we are taking this land,” he said.
Wandale also unveiled the Must national flag, national anthem, and guided the executive members on how to come up with an emblem, seal, passport, identity card and court of arms.
He also announced that their currency will be called shekel and will be equivalent to a dollar.
One of the people who attended the event, Moffat James, hailed Wandale for the bold decision, saying it gives them hope for an end to their poverty.
“We will continue to rally behind him as he is fighting for us. We are hopeful that soon we will have the land we have been fighting for,” he said.
Another member Fadson Mleme accused some chiefs in the two districts of corruption, adding that they are being silenced by estate owners and some political leaders in the fight for indigenous people.
Wandale declared the two districts of Thyolo and Mulanje a sovereign State called United States of Mulanje and Thyolo in March 2016 following what they called failure by the Malawi government to act on their protracted wrangle with estate owners who they claimed grabbed land from their ancestors leaving them landless.n