The Malawi Law Society (MLS) yesterday said it has noted with concern and outrage the violence that occurred at Goliati Trading Centre in Thyolo which claimed the lives of a civilian and a police officer.
In a statement, the lawyers’ body said the political violence and the continued blame game is not only worsening the situation but also threatening the holding of free and fair elections in the country.
The governing People’s Party (PP) leader President Joyce Banda and the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Peter Mutharika, have been involved in a blame game on who started the March 16 violence in Thyolo.
Reads the statement: “MLS condemns in no uncertain terms those involved in perpetuating this political violence, such barbaric behaviour cannot be tolerated in a democratic dispensation such as ours.
“When we opted to become a democracy, we gave the right to rule to the people of Malawi and they exercise this right by electing their preferred political leaders. The people’s right to govern themselves is, therefore, being threatened and challenged by this barbaric political violence.”
MLS, in the statement signed by its secretary Felisah Kilembe, said politicians should not underestimate the effect of political violence on the development of the country.
It urged leaders of different political parties to take responsibility for their supporters and ensure that whoever instigates violence should face disciplinary action or even expulsion from the party.
Reads in part the statement: “Political violence breeds political instability and this in turn affects a number of developmental issues, including investor confidence and respect for human rights. We only need to look at some of our neighbours to realise the impact of political instability on the citizenry.”