Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera has condemned post-election violence, especially against motorists, in his Lilongwe North West Constituency.
In his address to communities at Nyanda, Mang’a, Lisopa and Malembo on Sunday afternoon, whose audio was made available to The Nation by MCP interim chief whip in Parliament Sam Kawale, he said he was not pleased that some people were taking the law into their own hands through violence or harassing road users.
He said: “It is true that up to today, I don’t agree with the results of the elections and I know that you are also angry with the results. But let us not vent our anger on innocent people. Let us keep calm and wait for the courts to decide our fate.
“We may not have long to wait. Probably in a month’s time we may know the verdict of the court case. So, stop the violent acts and let people pass on the roads freely.”
His condemnation comes after reports that some people were molesting motorists in parts of Lilongwe and Kasungu, especially on the new Lilongwe Old Airport-Kasiya-Santhe-Kasungu Road. The people are said to be demanding up to K30 000 as ‘right of passage’ fees for the helpless motorists.
In interviews with The Nation on Monday, governance and political analysts commended Chakwera for condeming violence and telling his supporters to keep calm.
Ernest Thindwa, a political analyst based at Chancellor College, said violence of any kind should be condemned in the strongest terms.
He said no person has the authority to block public roads except those mandated by law.
Said Thindwa: “The reported violence has nothing to do with elections, but a case of some misguided souls exploiting the security vacuum resulting from a slack security situation.
“Chakwera should be commended for condemning the reported violence and for visiting the concerned places to restrain and educate those localities on the importance of law and order.”
On his part, governance analyst Henry Chingaipe said the MCP leader has done well in addressing his supporters on the serious matter.
“He did well by calling for lawful behaviour, criticising criminal elements on the roads against pestering passers-by and urging his supporters to uphold humane behaviour and hospitality, even to people from elsewhere in the country. Other party leaders also need to spread such a nation-building message,” he said.
Chakwera alongside UTM Party president Saulos Chilima have filed a petition in the Constitutional Court seeking nullification of the presidential election results in the May 21 Tripartite Elections.
The duo argues that Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah declared President Peter Mutharika of Democratic Progressive Party winner of the presidential election amid irregularities.
Currently, there is tension in the country as civil society organisations, through Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC), have been organising nationwide protests to force Ansah to resign for allegedly presiding over a flawed electoral process.