Blantyre, Malawi, March 16 (MaraviPost) _ Malawi president Joyce Banda has exclusively told www.maravipost.com that a police officer and a civilian were killed in the tea-growing district of Thyolo Sunday after she commissioned electricity at a village clinic in the area of her main opponent Peter Mutharika, presidential candidate for former president Bingu wa Mutharika’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
Mutharika hails from the village. “The officer was attacked with an axe after I left the area,” she said.
Banda went to Goliati Village to commission electricity at a clinic.
“It was really uncalled for,” said Banda, one of the three Africa’s female president after Ellen Johnston Sirleaf of Liberia and Catherine Samba-Panza of the Central African Republic. “I never attacked anybody in my speech, I just talked development.”
Banda said trouble begun after a police officer opened fire to break an altercation when DPP zealoists attacked the rally. A civilian was killed.
After the presidential party had left the area, locals regrouped and attacked the remaining police officers, killing one in the process.
“Another one is actually fighting for his life in hospital,” Banda said.
Banda condemned her opponent, Mutharika, for the violence, saying he is allowed to conduct campaign meetings in the eastern region of Zomba, her home district, without incident.
Tusekele Mwanyongo, an officer at President Banda communications office, told www.maravipost.com suspected DPP supporters stoned people and smashed car windscreens at a rally addressed by the President.
Mwanyongo said two President Banda’s People’s Party (PP) members, Peter Chasweka and Patrick January, suffered deep cuts on their fore-heads following extensive pelting of stones.
“A PP Nissan Voxy, registration number BS 3879 used by the governing PP Provincial Chairperson for Southern Region, Isaac Nyakamera, and other PP and government vehicles were bashed and windows shattered, injuring most of the occupants,” he said.
Mwanyongo said a Toyota Prado belonging to the state-owned Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), was also extensively damaged and the particles of a broken windscreen seriously injured the eyes of two MBC journalists, Ronald Amos and Lorraine Kalilombe.
Director of Programmes at MBC, Hamilton Chimala, confirmed the incident in an interview on Sunday. He explained that the two MBC employees were rushed to the Lions Eye Hospital at Queen Elizabeth Central for treatment.
Special Advisor to the President on Communication and Politics Elias Wakuda Kamanga told www.maravipost.com in an interview that the DPP is intent at instilling fear in the people ahead of the tripartite elections on May 20.
“What they want to do is to force people to support them. The violence today was uncalled for and we condemn the DPP and its leadership in the strongest terms. We don’t want primitive politics that characterised the DPP reign between 2009 and 2011 to return,” he said.
Kamanga said Malawians have vivid memories of the “pain, anguish, suffering and death” following the July 20, 2011 DPP-perpetrated violence and that they would not wish to see that “barbarism” again.
“Malawians witnessed some of the worst political violence under Mutharika and the DPP that time. We all know that houses of human rights and political activists were burnt in the middle of the night. Malawians remember how the Head of State then would challenge his own citizens to dare go into the street as he would deal with them. Bingu wa Mutharika had the audacity to tell purported detractors that he would ‘smoke them out’ and ordered the police to ‘shoot to kill’. Let’s all say no to the return of these ugly happenings,” said Kamanga.
President Banda was at Goliati on Sunday to officially ‘switch on’ electricity at Chimaliro Health Centre following a request Senior Chief Chimaliro.
“I am happy that today, our hospital has electricity and that mother shall no longer give birth,” she said.
DPP spokesman Nicholas Dausi distanced his party from the violence, saying Mutharika was not in the area when the violence took place.-maravipost