By Mandy Pondani:
President Peter Mutharika has reportedly backed Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Southern Region vice president, Kondwani Nankhumwa’s call for contact and dialogue with opposition parties, in an effort to end the ongoing post-election standoff.
But the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP), which is challenging May 21 presidential election results at the Constitutional Court sitting in Lilongwe,
alongside UTM, has trashed the calls, saying dialogue is not necessary until truth is established on the alleged fraudulent election results.
Mutharika is reported to have convened a meeting with DPP National Governing Council members in Lilongwe on Saturday where he confirmed his position on the matter.
DPP top officials such as Jappie Mhango, Grizelder Jeffrey and Nicholas Dausi are reported to have attended the meeting whereas Nankhumwa was absent as he was reportedly pre-occupied.
Presidential spokesperson Mgeme Kalilani could neither confirm nor deny when contacted Sunday but said Mutharika is a peace-loving President who believes in contact and dialogue.
“The President is particularly concerned with the impact that the post-election violence is having on the country’s economy and he is of the view that an amicable solution should be reached for the sake of progress,” Kalilani said.
DPP spokesperson Dausi Sunday refused to comment on the matter.
“No comment,” he said.
MCP, through its deputy director of publicity, Ezekiel Ching’oma, has described DPP as a confused institution on grounds that Mutharika and Information Minister Mark Botomani have, at different occasions, made remarks that contradict what Nankhumwa said at Nyambadwe Primary School Ground in Blantyre last week on Sunday.
“You may wish to know that, at this particular moment, it would be of no use for MCP to go on the table with DPP for any negotiations with regard to the electoral issues currently in court. The votes that were stolen are not MCP votes. The votes that were stolen are for Malawians. This is the reason the whole country is on fire,” Chin’goma said.
He said negotiations on electoral issues would be meaningless in the wake of the ongoing court case.
UTM spokesperson Joseph Chidanti-Malunga could not be drawn to comment but the party’s vice-president Michael Usi, speaking at a rally in Mangochi District last Sunday, appealed for peace through contact and dialogue.
Apart from the ongoing court case, Malawians have, led by Human Rights Defenders Coalition, in the last two months been taking to the streets to force Malawi Electoral Commission Chairperson, Justice Jane Ansah, to resign for allegedly failing to manage elections.
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