Malawi: Mutharika Warned Against Militarizing Lilongwe City Entry

15 September 2019

Political and security experts have warned President Peter Mutharika against militarizing his entry into the Capital City, Lilongwe saying this is sending bad political and security signals in the peaceful country.

President Mutharika's motorcade

Mutharika, for a third time now, on Friday entered Lilongwe through Kamphata under the heavy escort of armoured vehicles and Malawi Defence Force (MDF) soldiers, reminiscent of a war zone.

This is not the case when he is entering Blantyre, a commercial city in the south where him and his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) scooped more votes than ushered him into power during the highly disputed May 21 tripartite elections.

A political scientist George Phiri said the decision by the Head of State to order the excess heavy security whenever entering Lilongwe is an indication that the country's peace has been compromised.

"This is scary. People will now be afraid of attending his rallies in the centre or north because of such security lapse messages," said Phiri.

Eugine Njoloma, a security expert says Mutharika needs to have a peaceful compromise with the opposition leaders.

"He should always refrain from casting the opposition leaders, he should refrain from saying he defeated the opposition leaders at the elections because the issue is in court and this can bring about unnecessary political tempers," said Njoloma.

State House officials are describing the high security for Mutharika when entering Lilongwe as normal presidential security.

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