Disgruntled Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has vowed to carry on with its post-election prayers as part of activities to express anger with the May 21 Tripartite Elections’ results.
MCP deputy publicity secretary Kondi Msungama declared yesterday the party would not be daunted by anything in its quest to hold “peace prayers” because it is a constitutional right.
He spoke after authorities blocked the party from conducting prayers at its regional offices as well as district offices in Blantyre.
The party wrote Malawi Police Service (MPS), Blantyre district commissioner (DC) and Blantyre City Council (BCC) last Friday notifying them about the intention to host the prayers at the two venues.
But in his response on the same day, Blantyre DC Bennet Nkasala rejected the request to hold the prayers, citing the prevailing political tension and security concerns on the ground.
However, the party followers proceeded to conduct prayers which were led by Pastor Omega Phinifolo at their regional offices at Chichiri without any movement. Four other clerics and a sheikh also offered their prayers.
In her sermon, Phinifolo urged the MCP followers to remain calm and peaceful while devoting everything in prayers until the “truth on elections outcome is proved by the courts”.
The pastor stated that regardless of the duration the matter may take in court, with prayers justice will still prevail.
In an interview, Msungama said the prayers were meant to defuse the political tension that has emerged following the disputed presidential election results.
“We will continue gathering peacefully and holding our prayers until dust settles and we have started speaking with one voice.
“Fortunately, the disputed matters [presidential results] are already in court. We trust our courts’ independence but we will still continue holding these prayers until the court determines our country’s future,” he said.
Besides MCP followers, the prayers were also attended by some members of Peoples Party (PP) and UTM Party.
The prayers were conducted amid an intimidating presence of over 60 heavily armed and plain-clothed police officers who were packed in their vehicles that had bordered the party regional offices.
MCP followers, especially in Central and Northern regions, have been protesting since Malawi Electoral Commission declared governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) President Peter Mutharika winner.