In my capacity as Leader of Opposition and in keeping with my ongoing responsibility to prepare MCP to form the next government, I have just held discussions with the Inspector General of the Malawi Police about rising incidents of politically motivated acts of violence.
Particularly, on your behalf and in the interest of public safety, I expressed to him the deepest concern for all opposition parties whose members continue to be verbally and physically assaulted by confessed ruling party cadets. I sought to impress upon the Inspector General the gravity of the situation and the urgent need for action through the deployment of law enforcement agents to restore the rule of law on the political landscape.
It is not as though these acts of violence by ruling party cadets have happened in secret to necessitate a long investigation before the perpetrators can be brought to justice. The ruling party’s culture of violence, which is a clear and present danger to both the public’s safety and its confidence in the police’s ability to guarantee the security, liberty, and integrity on which the democratic process of our elections is based, is now a matter of public and historical record.
It is the ruling party cadets who have severely beaten up Mr. Govati of MCP at his home last night in Blantyre.
It is the ruling party cadets who stripped members of UTM in Mangochi.
It is the ruling party cadets who threatened me and my delegation with violence and barred us from attending the Chilembwe Memorial in Chiradzulu. It is the ruling party cadets who disrupted a UTM meeting in Mulanje.
It is the ruling party cadets who disrupted the very house of parliament in Lilongwe. It is the ruling party cadets who disrupted an AFORD meeting in Rumphi.
Their litany of crimes is long, and it is a shame that there have been no investigations or arrests to end this lawless culture.
On behalf of all of you fellow Malawians and indeed on behalf of the Malawi Congress Party and myself, I condemn these barbaric acts in strongest terms and with a heart bleeding for sanity, tranquility and a unified Malawi.
This is why I expressed my dissatisfaction to the Inspector General with the fact that these thugs have become so brazen and emboldened in their attacks that they do it all over the country; they do it on any opposition party; they do it without restraint; they do it with the intent of inflicting maximum damage and instilling terror; they do it in broad daylight with video cameras rolling.
At times, they have even done it in full view of police officers and the State President, fully confident that they are above the law and immune to prosecution.
Fellow Malawians, I can confidently report that for his part, the Inspector General has assured me that police efforts are underway to decisively deal with these dangerous trends. I have, therefore, assured him of my full support in any form toward that end. Not only am I supportive of his efforts to restore law and order now, but I also pledge my full support from May onwards, after your votes put the police service under my oversight as President so that I can uphold the Rule of Law, which is the fifth pillar of my HIGH 5 agenda.
Until then, I call upon all of you to maintain the peace, to refrain from retaliation, and to let the actions of these thugs fuel your commitment and resolve to end their reign of terror with your vote at the ballot. Only then can we ensure that the current Commander-In-Chief, who has lost his grip on his own party, his own government, and any credibility to lead this nation, is replaced to give you, the people, the chance you deserve and desire to once again enjoy the security and prosperity that his cadets have wantonly plundered.