Suspected Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and United Democratic Front (UDF) thugs on Friday morning blocked State Vice President Saulos Chilima--who is also UTM Party president-- from conducting campaign rallies at Ngokwe and Ntaja Trading Centres in Machinga district.
One of the UTM vehicles that was smashed in the Machinga fracas Damaged: One of the cars with Malawi's State Vice President and Tonse Alliance running mate Saulos Chilima, who was on tour in Machinga
Chilima's personal assistant, Pilirani Phiri, confirmed to Nyasa Times that the Vice President has cancelled his whistle-stop tour to the two trading centres due to the violence DPP-UDF zealots have incited in the area.
Phiri said the DPP and UDF followers, who were armed with panga-knives, blocked the road to Nselema with logs and are burning tyres to make the road impassable for the country's second citizen.
"Political violence rears ugly face again this morning in Machinga. VP Chilima has cancelled his whistle stop at Ngokwe and Ntaja to avoid confrontation. Cancellation was option 1," s Phiri said on his Twitter post.
However, UTM publicity secretary Joseph Chidanti Malunga assured that Chilima is proceeding to other areas in the district where he will deliver message of hope to civil and public servants.
Malunga said the main message Chilima is delivering to the people is that the MCP-UTM Alliance will promote all upgraded and deserving teachers and civil servants and ensure that all armed forces must be paid their due reward for their service, including peace-keeping service to Malawi.
"The other message is that the MCP-UTM Alliance will introduce a new and higher salary scale for the civil and public services and standardize salaries for civil servants and those working in parastatals... .there will be no salary structure, which shall be higher and not lower," he said.
Chilima, who is UTM Party president, will be on the ballot as running mate to Malawi Congress Party (MCP) presidential hopeful Lazarus Chakwera, the torchbearer of nine member Tonse Alliance.
He is on record to allege that some governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) functionaries met and agreed to finance violence against opposition political party supporters, especially in the Southern Region.
Chancellor College-based political scientist Mustafa Hussein has since warned that the violence may degenerate into chaos if it remains unchecked.
In his view, violence is still deep-rooted in the country because political party leaders have failed to use party supporters who happen to be the youth in a productive way.
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