DPP-Mutharika Govt puts tougher restrictions on Russians, Nigerians suspected of aiding UTM Party
LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The Immigration Department of the Ministry of Homeland Security on Tuesday, April 23 instructed its officers to ensure double screening on Russian and Nigerian visitors into the country and give tighter restrictions for fear that they may be aiding the UTM Party rig the May 21 2019 polls.
In a press statement from Chief Immigration Officer Masauko Medi to Visa Officers and made available to The Maravi Post says the officers need to be vigilant in monitoring borders to avoid entry of foreigners to disturb elections.
“You are therefore directed to mount permanent road blocks in strategic points until the end of the elections and conduct intelligence based sweeping operations.
“Weekly reports to be submitted every Friday by 1000hrs. No issuance of visa to Nigerians and Russians without my notice,” reads the message by Medi.
The development comes after President Peter Mutharika has claimed that an opposition party, which he did not name, has hired some Russians and Nigerians to help it rig elections.
Government through the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) recently funded some intelligence officers to go to Mozambique and Zambia to look for ‘jamming machines’ suspected to have been put in those countries to help rig the elections.
According to sources close to Macra boss Godfrey Itaye, they came back empty handed. They did not find anything.
The intelligence officers who traveled to Zambia and Mozambique are Harriet Mtungama and Dorothy Kabango.
UTM presidential candidate who is also State Vice President Saulos Chilima has been assuring Malawians that no one is going to rig the elections and urged them to go and vote in their large numbers.
However, Mutharika, who is also the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) torchbearer in the May elections, said he is aware that an opposition party intends to rig the elections.
“We know the people you have brought from Russia and Nigeria, others from Greece. We have put them under surveillance. We know where your equipment is housed,” he said.
President Mutharika further said the national security apparatus has comfortably put the clandestine activities and rigging experts on the ladder and that they will be apprehended.
“Don’t cheat yourselves that we don’t know what you are doing. We will pounce on you and your team at the right time. You better stop or face the consequences,” Mutharika charged.
Mutharika assured the people that he will protect their votes and allow them to exercise their right to vote freely.
Malawi goes into polls in three weeks time.