Malawi: Embassies in Malawi Echo Bushiri's Peace Message

14 October 2019

United as a block, Malawi's diplomatic community has come out strong in support of Prophet Shepherd Bushiri's message for the need that leaders should prepare people regarding the pending Constitutional Court ruling.

Prophet Bushiri: A stick in time serve nine, Malawi needs to prepare the court's verdict

The Constitution Court will be, by the end of this year, make a watershed ruling on a case in which UTM and MCP wants the court nullify the May presidential elections.

Two weeks ago, Bushiri held a press briefing in South Africa where he called on leaders to start a process of preparing the people to accept the outcome of said ruling.

In echoing his position, the diplomatic community released a joint statement where they underlined: "As the date of the outcome of the ongoing Court case approaches, we urge all parties to the case to respect the outcome, and to take tangible steps to ensure that their supporters do the same."

The statement was signed by ambassadors and high commissioners from Germany, Ireland, Japan, United Kingdom and USA.

Among others, the statement also bemoaned the escalation of violence in the country.

"We are concerned by ongoing events in Malawi, and in particular the violence that has taken place since the Elections in May 2019, including criminal acts and hate speech. This has resulted in loss of life, damage to property and businesses, and disruption to the lives of many Malawians.

"We condemn any form of violence. All efforts must be deployed to prevent further violence. There must be prompt and impartial investigations into all criminal acts, ensuring due process is followed. Holding individuals to account for their actions without discrimination is key," reads the statement.

The constitutional court is considering a demand by the opposition to annul the results, and the ambassadors urged "all parties... to respect the outcome".

On his part, governance commentator Makhumbo Munthali told Nyasa Times that the diplomatic community has given a "well-balanced statement that adopts a diplomatic approach t addressing the volatile situation in Malawi."

However, Munthali pointed out that, what is coming out very clear from the diplomats statement is the concern for "selective justice on the investigations into all post-elections criminal acts."

He said: "It's clear that [diplomats] are concerned with double standards played by the police in handling the recent violence."

In his message, Prophet Bushiri said: "Preparing our people for this critical ruling is part of managing expectations--something we need now to avoid the escalation of violence we are witnessing now."

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