The Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) has called upon the Malawi Police Service to swiftly investigate cases of political violence taking place in the country and bring the perpetrators to justice .
The Commission is also calling upon the police to provide an update on their investigations to the people of Malawi and the general public to observe law and order as the country prepares for Fresh Presidential Elections.
The Commission says any form of violence has no space in the democratic Malawi, appealing to all stakeholders particularly leaders of all political parties who are participating in the elections to commit to preach peace and condemn violence and also hold their membership accountable for any statements or actions that border on hate speech and inciting violence.
This is contained in a statement signed by its chairperson, Reverend Patrick Semphere dated 7th April, 2020 on condemnation of political violence.
In a statement, the Commission says it is deeply concerned with the current spate of incidences of political violence having been reported in Blantyre, Mulanje, Thyolo, Balaka and more recently, Lilongwe. This week alone, two lives have been lost after sustaining severe burns in an arson attack on a UTM party office in Lilongwe which affected six members of the family.
“The Commission sends its heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family.
These violent incidents are being perpetrated against those perceived to be members of different political parties and are happening in the course of registration and campaign for the coming fresh elections,” reads a statement.
The Commission says these incidences have the potential to disrupt the processes leading to the fresh elections, preparations of which are currently underway, condemning these incidences and its perpetrators in strongest terms, saying these acts of violence amount to serious violations of the right to life, human dignity and personal freedoms.
The Commission says it must be noted and accepted by all that in the interest of unity and democracy, all candidates and political parties must be allowed to freely canvas for votes in any part of the country, tendencies of dividing Malawi into ethnic regions for political gain must not be condoned.
Meanwhile, the MCP Secretary General has refuted media reports thst Mr. Mosses Kumkuyu, its campain director has been arrested by police on allegations that he organized the violence in Ndirande that saw people stonning the presidential convoy carrying President Peter Mutharika and his running mate, Atupele Muluzi from Mount Soche hotel in Blantyre after presenting letters of nominations to Malawi Electoral Commission.