Rumphi Police Station this week distanced itself from the fracas that happened during the Gonapamhanya celebrations event that took place on Saturday at Chikulamayembe Headquarters.
Rumphi Police Station Officer-In-Charge Denis Banda said the fracas could have been controlled, if the event organizers involved the law enforcers.
“We were not invited to the celebrations, but the presence of the Minister at the event made us go, and provide security. We are supposed to be involved in organizing such events, in order to avoid such scenarios,” Banda said.
The incident started when the leader of opposition in parliament Dr. Lazarus Chakwera arrived, and some people, alleged to be Democratic Progressive Party members, threw stones at the Malawi Congress Party President’s car.
It took the intervention of police to put the violence to rest, but only after Paramount Chief Chikulamayembe assigned a car where Chakwera sought refuge.
But DPP said in a statement, released Sunday, that it had learnt with shock the violent incidences that took place at the event.
“Our preliminary findings are that these most unfortunate incidences,
were properly planned and executed by supporters of the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and their allies.
“We have noted with great concern that the MCP supporters were in possession of some unauthorized dangerous weapons such as pangas, knives and teargas that were put to use during the fracas that ensued,” reads the statement in part.
The DPP says it wonders how the MCP supporters were able to acquire such hazardous weapons and put them to use at a peaceful public event.
“Some DPP supporters were mercilessly beaten up by the opposition hooligans and at least one official vehicle of the DPP, was heavily smashed by the stone throwing MCP supporters,” reads the statement signed by DPP publicity secretary, Francis Kasaila.
Chairperson of the organizing committee, Group Village Headman Chikalamba said his committee told the people at the function to remove their party colours, but only opposition party members obliged, with DPP members maintaining their party regalia.
“We told them not to wear party colours at this cultural event but it seems the ruling party did not oblige as this brought tension and destroyed the goal of the event,” Chikalamba said.
MCP President however, accused the ruling party for the violence.
Present at the event were Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security, Grace Obama Chiuma, Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, Alliance for Democracy President Enock Chihana and former Vice-President Khumbo Kachali.
The incident is reported to have claimed the life of a Zambian traditional leader, Nyaunthali who was a delegate at the function.