By Jameson Chauluka:
President Peter Mutharika has said he has survived five assassination attempts on his life since he joined politics.
Mutharika was speaking during the Presidential Prayer Breakfast which took place at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe ahead of the May 21 Tripartite Elections.
He said, although some people regard him as an enemy, he is peace-loving.
“You all have seen how I was treated in 2014. I was put in prison on false allegations. I have survived five assassination attempts on my life and my predecessor literally refused to hand over power to me but I have never avenged. I will never revenge,” he said.
Mutharika said he prays for peace to prevail during the elections because he believes in what Jesus Christ said that peace should be upon the world.
“You have seen people insulting me, creating false evidence against me, praying for my death in public yet I have stayed focused because I am not a vindictive person. I know that there are people who are spending sleepless nights thinking about what I would do to them after the elections. People can hate me but I will always love them,” he said.
“As we pray for the elections, let us remember that this election will come and go but we will remain Malawians. Let us campaign peacefully. Let us avoid hate speech. Let us campaign on issues that can benefit the country.”
Mutharika will contest in the elections on Democratic Progressive Party ticket.
However, other opposition political parties including UTM and Malawi Congress Party shunned the prayers whereas United Democratic Front president Atupele Muluzi sent an apology for his absence and delegated the party’s secretary general Kandi Padambo.
In his remarks, moderator of the prayers, Apostle Madalitso Mbewe, while expressing displeasure at the absence of other political parties, said the prayers centred on love, forgiveness, reconciliation and peace.
“I am not alright because we made efforts to call everybody. The message that we had is peace and every leader is key to this. We took time and spoke to them; we could have been happier if they were here,” he said
He said the presidential prayers started in 1999 at the same venue and continue to be conducted in the same manner.—Additional reporting by Audrey Kapalamula
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