By Macdonald Thom:
Malawi Congress Party (MCP) members of Parliament (MPs) Monday said a statement on political violence and impact on socio-economic development which Homeland Security Minister, Nicholas Dausi, delivered in the House left out some issues.
Dausi highlighted cases of violence that have been reported in the country after the May 21 Tripartite Elections.
He gave a detailed report which included, among others, attacks on individuals, buildings and shops across the country.
Dausi’s statement also included looting of shops and damage to infrastructure which happened during the June 20 2019 demonstrations which Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) organised.
Dausi said perpetrators of violence would be prosecuted. He blamed MCP and HRDC for the violence.
“We are still counting the cost. There has to be compensation for those injured. We will present that to MCP and Human Rights Defenders Coalition,” Dausi said.
The statement did not please some MPs, especially those from MCP, who argued that it excluded some post-elections issues.
“Some of the things were happening because the police invaded MCP headquarters. Can the Minister of Homeland Security also talk about the invasion of MCP headquarters please?” Dowa East MP, Richard Chimwendo-Banda, said.
Earlier, MCP did not participate in the debate on State of the Nation Address which President Peter Mutharika delivered in the House on Friday.
During the debate whose motion was moved by Mulanje Bale MP Victor Musowa, MCP MPs were just raising issues on Point of Order, whenever the contributors appeared to attack the party.
In her contribution to the debate, United Democratic Front (UDF) leader in the House, Lilian Patel, said, although election matters are in court, there were some issues which the country needed to address.
“The issues we have in this country are political in nature. We must make sure that there is peace in this country. Matters of elections are in court. Much as they are there, can the court resolve issues of nepotism? Can the courts resolve issues of tribalism? Can the courts deal with issues of ego? We need to have dialogue. We can find a solution to these problems,” Patel said.
Alliance for Democracy lone MP, Yeremiah Chihana, who represents Mzimba North, said Sona left out a number of issues.
He specifically mentioned Malawi’s $350.7 million Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact aimed at revitalizing Malawi’s power sector.
“Malawi is no longer the same. We should be very careful with what we are saying. What we are telling the people of Malawi…The address did not have a place for the Second Compact. Disrespectful to the US government and Malawian people,” he said.
Minister of Health, Jappie Mhango, however, said Sona was just a guiding document which could not contain all details of what the government was doing.
“It is out of order to say Sona did not raise specific issues,” Mhango said.