Malawi: MCP Dares Mutharika to Arrest Chakwera - Malawi Paper Asks President to 'Show Leadership in Crisis'

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has challenged President Peter Mutharika to arrest its party president Lazarus Chakwera if the accusations against him perpetrating violence have any iota of truth.

Chakwera and Mkakaon his left: President Mutharika's allegations are baseless

In his Tuesday night's national address, Mutharika alleged that Chakwera is encouraging "acts of violence" by ordering his followers to "catch and kill" people thought to be collecting national identity cards (IDs) that are crucial in the voting process.

MCP secretary general Eisenhower Mkaka challenged Mutharika to bring to justice Chakwera, accusing the Malawi leader of making "baseless and useless allegation."

Said Mkaka: "If he indeed knows that Chakwera is involved in this matter, he has the security agencies [at his disposal], why not deploy them to arrest Chakwera?"

The presidential press secretary Mgeme Kalilani has maintained that Mutharika claims have basis and the police are on top of the issue.

He said more than 100 people who have so far been arrested in connection with the crimes of bloodsuckers mob lynching and resurgence of political violence "are cooperating" with the police and investigations continue.

In its extended coverage on the matter, one of the country's daily newspapers, The Nation, wrote on its editorial comment that the President's speech was a lost opportunity for the Malawi leader especially at this comment when the country is reeling under the impact of coronavirus pandemic.

The paper said it was indeed crucial that the President addresses the issues of bloodsuckers and Covid-19 but pointed out that it is unfortunate that he politicised the issues.

"We ask the President to keep partisan political colours out of his national addresses. National addresses should be such platforms where the leader outlines issues and provide direction," the paper said in its leader page.

It advised President Mutharika to avoid turning the presidential podium into a partisan platform to attack his rivals.

The paper also concurred with MCP why then is Chakwera walking free if indeed he was behind the political violence.

"Where are the security agencies to bring him to book?" it asked.

In its editorial, the daily said being an international legal scholar, Mutharika should be the last person to know that one cannot be a complainant, prosecutor and judge rolled into one.

"For now, Chakwera is innocent until arrested, taken to court and convicted for the same," reads the comment.

In conclusion the editorial said Malawians want to see leadership in their President, especially in time of crisis like Covid-19 like when his rating went up when he came up with a bold agenda for protecting the country from the impact of the outbreak.

"Mutharika should sustain that," it said.

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