The main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP)’s Mangochi rally that was scheduled on Saturday (today) has been shifted to Sunday following President Peter Mutharika’s whistle-stop tour to Zomba a head of dinner event in that oldest city.
Prior to MCP’s today rally postponement, the Malawi police on Friday issued the statement stopping the party holding the rally.
In a press statement made available to The Maravi Post, MCP leader Lazarus Chakwera cited promotion of peace and tranquility that needs to be embraced hence postponement.
Below is MCP’s full statement on the Mangochi rally postponement;
Fellow Malawians, As you know, this Saturday, December 1, I was scheduled to address a great rally at Mbwadzulu Primary School football ground in the District of Mangochi.
However, in the interest of public peace and national security, I am hereby informing you that this rally has been postponed to Sunday, December 2, 2018.
I just finished holding talks with the Inspector General of the Malawi Police Service, who pleaded with me to effect this postponement.
I know that my acquiescence to his humble request will inconvenience thousands of you who were eager to attend and tune in to the rally and hear how the people and district of Mangochi will benefit from the “CHAKWERA HIGH 5” agenda that my prospective government will implement nationwide from May, 2019.
However, that agenda is not merely something I preach, but a set of core values that I practice.
The first value of The Chkwera High 5 is “Kutumikira Pautsogoleri” (Servant Leadership). Given the security risks involved in holding a rally this Saturday as pointed out by the Inspector General, I believe that going ahead with the rally on that day would be to put my own political aspirations above your safety as Malawians, which would not be an act of *Servant Leadership*.
For your information, in step with the “Rule of Law”, which is the fourth pillar of the “Chakwera High 5”, the Inspector General has acknowledged that we as MCP have followed all protocols in our scheduling and planning of the whistle stops and rally, including informing the office of the District Commissioner at least a fortnight in advance. We even ensured that there were no encumberances in the way of our plans, and we were assured that our planned activities were not clashing with any other activities in the areas we planned to visit.
For that reason, both natural justice and fairness under the law would dictate that the District Commisioner and the Inspector General should give priority to our booked activities over any others that were booked afterwards.
Sadly, the State President, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika, has a different view of justice, for he and the DPP went ahead to book whistle stops in the same areas we had already booked to visit on the same day, thus putting our Police officers in this compromised position of towing to his unlawful whims.
Section 158(1) of the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi could not be more clear in its demand that:
“Members of the Malawi Police Service shall ensure that they exercise their functions, powers and duties as impartial servants of the general public”.
But President Mutharika, in total disregard of both the Republican Constitution and his credentials as a professor of law, continues to lead our Police officers into scenarios that violate the principle of impartiality by which he swore an oath to govern.
And so in the absence of any credible leadership on his part, which has put the safety of the people of Mangochi at risk by placing DPP supporters on a collision course with our rallies, I felt duty-bound to take immediate action and postpone my rally by 24 hours to avoid any possible violent clashes between Malawians of opposing parties.
To his credit, the Inspector General has assured me that this kind of mismanagement of security protocols will not happen again.
That is something I too can guarantee, for with me as President by the vote of Malawians in May, I guarantee all members of the Malawi Police Service that their days of being reduced to errand runners for the political gain of one person will be behind them.
The Malawi Police Service deserve a better President and better treatment than this.
And with their help in providing security for our Mangochi rally to be held on Sunday at 2.00 pm at Mbwadza Primary School football ground, I look forward to see you all there as we take one more step together towards forming the next government that will “BUILD A NEW MALAWI”
Sincerely, Lazarus Chakwera, President Malawi Congress Party.