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Opposition, activists brand destabilisation plot accusation ‘childish’

Chidanti-Malunga

Malawi Congress Party (MCP), UTM and Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) have reacted angrily to allegations by Capital Hill that the three are plotting to cause chaos in the country by burning down markets.

Minister of Information, Civic Education and Communications Technology, Mark Botomani, accompanied by Minister of Homeland Security, Nicholas Dausi, held a press briefing in Lilongwe on Friday, accusing the two political parties and HRDC of plotting to destabilise the country.

“Government would like to warn the HRDC, MCP and UTM to stop their machinations of trying to usurp the Constitutional Order and to topple a legally constituted Government as doing so borders on treason,” Botomani said in his press statement.

He added that one of the people assigned to coordinate the ‘heinous’ plan left Lilongwe for Blantyre on Friday.

In a subsequent interview, Botomani told The Sunday Times yesterday that government has information that the three have agreed to recruit thugs who will be burning markets across the country.

“We have uncovered plans orchestrated by the entities I mentioned yesterday, they want to burn markets across the country starting with the Southern Region. So we had to come in as government,” he said.

However, MCP and UTM have challenged government to bring forward the evidence that it has gathered in relation to the allegations.

MCP spokesperson, Reverend Maurice Munthali, says such allegations by the ministers are “unfortunate, laughable, shameful, regrettable and even childish”.

He added that the party is led by a man of God who cannot plot such evil acts, saying it is the governing Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) cadets who perpetrate violence.

“The governing party should hold itself accountable for any unrest that the country is facing,” he said.

UTM spokesperson, Joseph Chidanti Malunga, says the allegations are baseless and that the three parties never met on Tuesday, daring government to bring forward evidence for everyone to appreciate.

“As a party we describe this statement as childish, insensitive, reckless, ridiculous, dangerous, rubbish -all the adjectives that you can use,” Chidanti Malunga said.

He says the party has supporters in all markets, hence it cannot plan to burn down such outlets, but said if government has the claimed information, it should use security agents to intercept the plot.

HRDC, through one of its members Reverend MacDonald Sembereka, also weighed in on the allegations.

“This is a significant lie, what the ministers said was a clear picture of what they are planning, because everyone knows they are behind all the arson that has been taking place in the country,” he said.

Malawi has been experiencing post-election protests since President Mutharika was declared winner of the May 21 Tripartite Elections by Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) Chairperson Justice Jane Ansah on May 27 2019.

HRDC has been in the forefront facilitating the protests, which have at times turned violent, demanding that Ansah should resign.

MCP president Lazarus Chakwera and UTM leader Saulosi Chilima are currently challenging the presidential election results at the Constitution Court.

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