Ten Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) men and women yesterday jumped off the governing party’s branded pick-up in Mzuzu and beat up a bicycle taxi operator for allegedly insulting the party and President Peter Mutharika.
The victim—like witnesses who included a civic educator and bicycle operator—said the mob descended on John Mphande, 31, around 11am when he termed DPP a club of thieves as the blue pickup passed by National Bank of Malawi Mzuzu Service Centre around 11.30pm
Political analyst Blessings Chinsinga described the provocation as hardly serious enough to warrant a beating likely to remind Malawians about the ugly scenes of intolerance and impunity DPP supporters unleashed on Malawians during the late Bingu wa Mutharika’s rule.
He said it was a very “big irony” the violent spectacle happened when Malawians were commemorating the International Human Rights Day with a call for human right all year round.
In an interview, Mphande said he was feeling pain all over his body but would not seek medical attention for fear of being arrested or suffering further assault.
DPP spokesperson Francis Kasaila could not be reached, but Minister of Information, Tourism and Culture Kondwani Nakhumwa said government would investigate the authenticity of the daylight human rights violation thoroughly.
Witnesses told The Nation blue pickup carrying the mob was trailing a white vehicle in which DPP regional governor Kenneth Sanga was travelling, but the politician denied being aware of the episode and being near the scene.
“It’s a lie,” he said. “DPP youth wing is disciplined. After all, my white pickup is grounded.”
However, the bicycle taxi crew, which operates outside near the bank, stood by the victim’s narrative and suspect he was whisked away to cover up the matter