Saulos Chilima dares police, Peter Mutharika
UTM President, Saulos Chilima, Thursday urged Malawians to remain peaceful before and after the presidential election results case ruling at the Constitutional Court sitting in Lilongwe on Monday.
The panel of judges Ivy Kamanga, Healey Potani (chairperson), Dingiswayo Madise, Mike Tembo and Redson Kapindu will deliver its judgement on Monday after Chilima and Malawi Congress Party President, Lazarus Chakwera, petitioned the court challenging May 21 election results saying they were marred by irregularities.
In view of this, Chilima, who is the first petitioner in the case, also challenged President Peter Mutharika, who is the first respondent in the case, to show qualities of a true statesman after the court ruling.
He also asked Malawi Police Service to step up to their Constitutional mandate and stop thugs that may want to take advantage of the situation in the country, particularly at the time of the delivery of the judgment.
“Even as we expect professionalism from our police, we, too, must do our part to maintain peace, law and order. This country has come too far to look back. We have endured biting poverty together. We have survived gnawing starvation and scorching droughts together; indeed, in times of happiness we have danced and sung together.
“There is more that binds us than that which separates us. No matter which corner of this country we come from, we are a peace-loving people. And we look out for each other. Violence and civil strife are alien to this land. We must not lose this gem. It is what defines us a people,” Chilima said.
The former Vice-President urged his former boss, Mutharika, not to pursue narrow interests ‘of a tribal cabal.’
“He must rein in on those that continue to hijack the machinery of the State for their own benefit thereby endangering the lives of all Malawians. This is not the time to listen to these criminal elements.
“We, therefore, call upon Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika to appreciate the epochal moment we find ourselves in and realise that the burden of maintaining the peace and tranquility that Malawi has enjoyed since becoming a Republic falls squarely on his shoulders. He must rise to the occasion,” Chilima said.
He also said UTM is open to electoral pacts if the reasons behind such are to serve Malawians.
“We are always ready to work with others and I think people have been talking but it is premature at this stage to say much because we don’t know which way the ruling is going to go so. I think the bottom line is that we are ready to work with others. There isn’t a reason why we shouldn’t,” Chilima said.
On Friday, Chakwera also addressed the press in Lilongwe calling for peace and urging people to “rise with every Malawian who is providing servant leadership, as the judges of the Constitutional Court are doing. Let us rise with every Malawian who is fighting for a cause that is uniting Malawians, as the leaders of civil society organisations are doing”
On security, Acting Inspector General of Police, Duncan Mwapasa, on Tuesday, assured Malawians that they have put in place measures to control acts of violence before, during and after the court judgement.
Speaking during the Malawi Defence Force Christmas Ball, MDF Commander, General Vincent Nundwe, said the soldiers are ready to work with the police to maintain peace in the country after the ruling.
In a related development, National Initiative for Civic Education Executive Director, Ollen Mwalubunju, has appealed to country’s youths and vendors to shun away from being used by party leaders.
“Much as taking part in any mass demonstration is a right the same rights have responsibilities and every person must be responsible for other people’s lives and property. As youths, people need to guard Malawi by making sure that they do not damage public entities which they will need later for public services,” Mwalubunju said.