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Tempers flare in Parliament over demonstrations fracas

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CONCERNED WITH THE VIOLENCE—Kandodo-Chiponda

Interim leader of opposition in Parliament Lobin Lowe Wednesday told legislators that Malawi Congress Party (MCP) was shocked by the violence which happened in Blantyre during demonstrations that saw a child dying following a fracas between suspected Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Cadets and protesters.

Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) member, Billy Mayaya, was also beaten up during the demonstrations calling for the resignation of Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) Chairperson Jane Ansah.

“For the police to fire teargas right at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital is very unfortunate. A kid under five years has died because of this. It is also unfortunate that an expectant mother collapsed and Billy Mayaya was heavily wounded by DPP [cadets]. I would like the government to justify this and respond,” Lowe said.

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MCP Deputy Whip, Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, also said they were deeply saddened by the turn of events.

“It is unfortunate that the Minister [of Homeland Security Nicholas Dausi] is approaching this issue in a casual way,” she said.

But Mulanje Bale legislator, Victor Musowa, stood on a Point of Order, saying it was not right for the opposition legislators to be calling the government ‘an interim government’.

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Tempers flared in the house as the opposition legislators pressed Dausi to provide answers in the House.

In response, Dausi said: “I think by tomorrow, we are going to present a statement on the same.”

This did not go down well with the opposition legislators and later Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Madalitso Kazombo, requested Dausi to rephrase his statement.

“This being a House of records, when will the report come?” Kazombo asked.

Dausi then told the House that he would present the statement today on the violence.

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