Opposition members of Parliament Thursday demanded the immediate arrest of suspected Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) cadets who assaulted Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) Central Region Chairperson, Billy Mayaya.
Mayaya, alongside other demonstrators, were injured when thugs, suspected to be DPP Cadets, foiled a scheduled HRDC demonstration which was aimed at presenting a petition to Southern Africa Development Commission (Sadc) leaders attending an electoral conference in Blantyre.
Dowa East lawmaker, Richard Chimwendo Banda, wondered why security authorities have, in recent months, handled DPP youths with kids’ gloves despite them terorising communities.
Responding to a statement by Homeland Security Minister, Nicholas Dausi, on Wednesday’s violence, Chimwendo Banda said youths of all parties were capable of doing what the suspected DPP youths did.
“I urge you honourable minister to arrest the people who assaulted Mayaya or else do not come and make another statement here in Parliament. Pictures and videos of the cadets are all over the place. What do you want to investigate here?” Chimwendo Banda said.
Wednesday’s mayhem resulted in police firing teargas canisters at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital to smoke out demonstrators, a development that led to the death of an under-five child.
Nkhata Bay South MP, Ken Zikhale N’goma, alleged that when Mayaya and company were being attacked, Kondwani Nankhumwa, who is Minister of Agriculture, alongside Deputy Defence Minister, Chipiliro Mpinganjira, was just watching and that they did not apologise for the incident.
But Mpinganjira rose on a point of order to ask Ng’oma for evidence supporting his allegations.
Presenting his statement, Dausi said the police dispersed the demonstrators because they did not listen to the authorities’ proposal not to go to Sunbird Mount Soche where the Sadc meeting is taking place.
He, without being specific, claimed that international organisations and ‘people with deep pockets’ were sponsoring the demonstrations.