The governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has cried foul over political violence allegedly perpetrated by Malawi Congress Party (MCP) supporters.
The party spokesperson Nicholas Dausi, who ironically is also Minister of Homeland Security, alleges MCP supporters have on two separate occasions stoned President Peter Mutharika’s convoy.
Speaking when he visited The Nation to make the allegation yesterday, Dausi said hoodlums, suspected to belong to MCP, threw stones at the presidential motorcade as it drove between Kamwendo and Mkanda trading centres on return from a whistle-stop tour of Mchinji District on Sunday.
He flatly accused MCP supporters of being responsible for the violence which resulted in five injuries and windscreens getting broken.
He said: “Of the five, two were treated as outpatients at Mchinji District Hospital and the others were taken to Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH).”
According to the minister, the perpetrators were chanting MCP president Lazarus Chakwera’s name in the course of the mayhem.
“We know its MCP because as they were stoning they were saying ‘kuno ndi kwa Chakwera kuno’, (This is Chakwera’s stronghold). So, does this mean Mchinji is a no-go zone for other parties but MCP only?” he charged.
Dausi cited another incident which he said occurred two weeks ago at Kabudula in Lilongwe, during the opening of Kasiya-Santhe Road, where yet another group of MCP supporters stoned the presidential convoy.
“That time, they even donned MCP colours. We ask the police to arrest them,” he said.
But in a telephone interview, MCP secretary general Eisenhower Mkaka distanced his party from both violence acts.
He said: “As MCP, we do not condone any political violence. Just as we can campaign anywhere, they too are free to campaign around the country.”
Mkaka asked DPP to produce tangible evidence.
National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera said they had received reports of political violence in Mchinji on Sunday.
“We received reports that some people were stoning cars on the presidential convoy. We are investigating the issue,” he said.
However, Malawi Electoral Commission’s (MEC) spokesperson Sangwani Mwafulirwa expressed ignorance that DPP had lodged a complaint with them on the Mchinji incident.
“To whom did the party say they gave their complaint? Ask them to tell you so we can follow up with right people,” he said.
But when called, Dausi sounded unsure before asking for time to consult with DPP officials in Lilongwe.
He never came back to us by the time we went to press. n