7 June 2019

Malawi: Mutharika Warns Chakwera for Plotting to Take Over Malawi Govt By Force - 'This Will Not Be Allowed'

President Peter Mutharika has accused Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera as a perpetrator of post-election violence using the party supporters and warned him that he has ordered the Police and Malawi Defence Force (MDF) to deal with his plans orchestrating "bloodshed" in the country to bring chaos.

President Mutharika: Breaks silence on political tension

Mutharika said this in an address he made to the nation through the taxpayer funded Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) Radio and TV monitored by Nyasa Times on Thursday evening.

In the President's national address come amidst a series of ugly scenes of violence, mostly in Lilongwe and surrounding areas in the aftermath of the announcement of the May 21 Tripartite Elections results, especially for the presidential race.

Mutharika believes the demonstrations by the MCP emanate from the speech Chakwera made recently, calling for an uprising.

The MCP leader had said that he will not relent even to the point of shedding his own blood until justice is served on the elections.

"We have seen a disturbing wave of violence inflicted on innocent Malawians soon after Reverend Chakwera called for violence in his statement," said Mutharika.

He accused Chakwera of flouting the country's democracy by allegedly encouraging illegal protests despite international election observers declaring the elections free and fair.

Said Mutharika: "I am advisably informed that the real goal of Reverend Chakwera is to ignore the democratic electoral process and its results; to create chaos and civil unrest using lives of unsuspecting innocent Malawians to take over government by violence and force. This will not be allowed."

Mutharika then called upon Malawians to maintain peace, love and unity and "reject leaders who terrorize and threaten the lives of our families and children."

In the address which lasted for about six minutes, Mutharika disclosed that security agents including Malawi Police and the Malawi Defence Force have been deployed to play their role in protecting Malawians.

"Any person inciting and perpetrating disorder will be arrested and brought to book to face justice", Mutharika said.

In his address, Mutharika faulted Chakwera for lacking patience, urging his political rival to let the courts freely decide the elections cases filed.

"Instead of waiting for the courts to do its job and the judicial process to take its course, Reverend Chakwera is mobilising illegal demonstrations that are disrupting everybody's life," said Mutharika, a former law professor.

Commentators have backed Mutharika, saying in view of the fact that there are cases pending in court, the protests despite the constitutional right to demonstrate, are unfortunate and ill-timed.

MCP leadership has been asked to wait for the course of justice through the courts and condemn the violence as well as appeal for calm as the process unfolds.

But Chakwera said Mutharika "needs to prove what he is saying."

Chakwera said he will provide his reaction to Mutharika's address.

Public Affairs Committee (PAC), a quasi-religious body formed in 1992 during the country's political transition from one-party to multiparty democracy, has also voiced its concerns over the violence that erupted in some parts of the country, especially in the Central Region in protest against the results, saying dialogue should be prioritised instead.


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