Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has condemned spates of post-elections violence which have been occurring in the country’s cities and townships.
Minister of Homeland Security Nicholas Dausi, who is also DPP spokesperson, was speaking yesterday at an impromptu media conference in the ministers lounge at Parliament.
Led by party secretary general Greselder Jeffrey, the others were DPP director of research, who is also Minister of Information, Civic Education and Communications Technology Mike Botomani; director of elections, who is also minister of Local Government and Rural Development Ben Phiri; and Minister of Health Jappie Mhango.
Dausi said the DPP recognises that MCP and UTM Party supporters have a constitutional right to hold demonstrations, but the governing party is bothered that the June 20 demonstrations culminated into violence and looting of property.
MCP and UTM Party joined the demonstrations that were organised by Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) to demand the resignation of Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah for presiding over elections irregularities.
The Homeland Security Minister said since the matter is in court, there is no need for demonstrations but should people feel the need to demonstrate, they should do so peacefully.
“We are concerned that the opposition parties are heightening post-elections violence… These demonstrations should have been conducted in a [peaceful] manner that other institutions are equally important. No political party, including DPP, is above the law,” said Dausi, who was the only speaker during the briefing.
He, however, downplayed fears that the country is in a political crisis due to the existing political tension which led to the postponement of the annual International Trade Fair in Blantyre after five countries pulled out from participating.
The minister further alleged that some unnamed people are sponsoring the demonstrations, warning that government will not tolerate any disruption of peace in the country.
Although UTM Party president Saulos Chilima, who walked together with Chakwera during the June 20 demonstrations, had earlier encouraged his supporters to go out in large numbers for the protests, he warned against violence and encouraged a peaceful march.
HRDC chairperson Timothy Mtambo is on record as having advised Malawi Police Service (MPS) to deal with anyone found misbehaving or involved in any violence or theft.
But on Monday, Dausi told Parliament during a ministerial statement that HRDC and MCP will bear the cost of any damage that resulted from looting during the demonstrations.
Yesterday, he reiterated his blame on MCP and UTM Party leadership, claiming they are the ones fuelling violence and thievery despite challenging the May 21 presidential poll results in court.
MCP president Lazarus Chakwera earlier distanced himself from any violence that angry party supporters and other Malawians have been engaged in since the much disputed results were announced in favour of DPP President Peter Mutharika.
At a press briefing two weeks ago, Chakwera said he does not remember any day and time when he bayed for blood.
He, however, said Malawians are angry and are protesting to show dissatisfaction with the manner in which poll results were handled.