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Mzuzu police shun peace agreement

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By Samuel Kalimira:

Northern Region police on Monday angered Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM) members for failing to show up for the signing ceremony of a ‘Commitment of peace’ agreement in Mzuzu City.

The agreement is meant to help political parties and other stakeholders avoid indulging in political violence before and after the elections.

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EAM is meeting electoral stakeholders in the region to enlighten them on causes of political violence and ways of avoiding the vice.

EAM Commissioner on Justice, Ethics, Peace and Justice, Reverend Makuni Gondwe, said it was sad that the police did not show up for the event.

“We invited them and our members of staff presented the letter to Mzuzu Police Station Officer–in-Charge. Today, many stakeholders have presented concerns which needed the response of the police. We believe that ending violence should be a collective responsibility,” Gondwe said.

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But Northern Region Police spokesperson, Peter Kalaya, said they indicated that they would be unable to attend the meeting because they were pre-occupied.

Other stakeholders such as Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and UTM regional members did not sign the agreement.

Representatives of Malawi Congress Party, the clergy and vendors’ committee signed the agreement.

At the event, political parties’ representatives accused the police of siding with DPP when resolving violence-related matters.

Alliance for Democracy shadow member of Parliament, Mercy Mbezuma, said suspected DPP youths assaulted her at Mzuzu Bus Depot recently.

Mzuzu Bus Depot Vendors Chairperson, Ishmael Mbembe Mzumara, said political parties use call-boys from the depot to threaten others during political rallies.

“They take advantage of the youth who have nothing to do. They buy them beer and give them money to disrupt rallies. We have been reporting this to the police many times but nothing is happening,” Mzumara said.

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