MCP supporters, police mistrust creates panic
Mistrust between police and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) supporters created panic in Nsanje Lalanje Constituency a few hours before conclusion of polling
Irate MCP supporters blocked the road to Chiromo Police in a move to stop a police vehicle they suspected to have carried boxes with ballot papers.
The situation worsened when an anti-riot police vehicle was seen moving around the area.
However, after about 20 minutes of tension, the two sides settled on barring the two vehicles from moving around.
It is reported that the boxes had food rations for officers who were deployed in various roadblocks and polling stations.
Some senior MCP members were called in to calm the situation. After talking to their supporters, the situation went back to normal.
Earlier in the morning, some people deflated tyres of a vehicle suspected to belong to the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on suspicion that it was carrying party regalia for distribution in the constituency after campaign time had elapsed.
In another incident, a senior DPP district official, Smart Kamangira, was whisked away by Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) officials and police after a mob beat him up on suspicion that he was campaigning.
Sarif Gova and Member of Parliament for Chikwawa Central, Zaheer Issa, also left abruptly after the mob threatened them.
Mec spokesperson, Sangwani Mwafulirwa, who helped to whisk Kamangira away from the irate supporters said the suspect was a monitor but went to the wrong polling centre.
“The man was supposed to be at one of the centres in the constituency and not here at Bangula Primary. So we whisked him away to Chiromo Police for his safety,” he said.
Mwafulirwa said that Kamangira was not arrested as he had not flouted any electoral law.
However, Mwafulirwa said Mec was impressed with a massive turnout of voters in almost all the 13 polling centres.
There was calm in almost all the centres except for the Bangula Primary Polling centre, which registered some pockets of violence and misunderstanding.
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