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Armed thugs attack Malawi's main opposition party rally, 25 injured

One of the vandalised vehicles

One of the vandalised vehicles

Supporters of Malawi's main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) were hurt and their cars vandalized Saturday in Malawi's capital, Lilongwe, when suspected armed supporters aligned with the governing Malawi Congress Party attacked their street parade.

DPP officials say the goal of the street parade was to make people aware of the importance of registering for the 2025 election and obtaining national identification.

However, the event was interrupted when witnesses say, a truck offloaded masked men wielding machetes and other weapons near a gas station where DPP supporters gathered.

DPP officials say about 25 supporters sustained injuries and were taken to Kamuzu Central Hospital for treatment. Their conditions were not immediately available. The suspects also damaged more than 10 cars owned by DPP supporters, some of them having their tyres stolen.

Levi Luwemba, deputy national director for operations at the DPP, the party of former president Peter Mutharika, said the suspects were supporters of the ruling Malawi Congress Party of President Lazarus Chakwera.

“President Lazarus Chakwera, you should take my word,” Luwemba said. “You will not bring dictatorship in this country. You will not bring anarchy in this country. You will not bring one-party state in this country. Malawi voted for multiparty democracy in 1994. We are ready to defend democracy.”

Political analysts say the incident is a bad sign for the political campaign period — which is expected to start in September for next year’s elections. This is the second time this month DPP supporters faced intimidation by suspected MCP supporters.

On February 14, DPP lawmakers called off planned vigils at Malawi’s parliament after spotting a group of Congress Party supporters who carried equipment that could be used as weapons — allegedly pretending to work in areas near where the lawmakers had gathered.

Malawi Congress Party spokesperson Ezekiel Ching’oma told VOA that his party is peaceful and is not responsible for the violence at the DPP’s street parade. He declined to explain more, saying his party will issue a statement on the incident.

Comments

+1 #1 kabayekka 2024-02-27 08:24
This indeed is normal political practice by many of these so called Pan African state candidates that do not want to leave state power by democratic means.

Worse still they are holding on to the tax payers money to sponsor their mischief! Shame on them!
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0 #2 Marz Mubiru 2024-02-27 19:06
Right kabayekka. It is a sore disease and the pattern is the same with our African dictators. Opposition parties do go well down their throats.

It pains me when I see self seekers showering praises on them and pretending all is fantastic and that they are doing a great and that the country is developing at a bulletin train speed.
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