Political violence once more reared its ugly head at Ngabu Market in Chikwawa yesterday where some sustained injuries in a fight between Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) followers.
In an interview yesterday, DPP’s Chikwawa Nkombezi Constituency shadow member of Parliament (MP) Ben Khuleya alleged that the fracas was sparked after MCP supporters wanted to retaliate the actions of governing DPP sympathisers who removed their party flags ahead of the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections.
He said: “When their [MCP] president [Lazarus Chakwera] visited Chikwawa, we [DPP] removed their flags. We removed less than four flags and it was not a serious case. So, this time around they [MCP] came to avenge.”
Khuleya said the MCP youths yesterday attacked DPP youths who were preparing a venue for President Peter Mutharika’s whistle-stop rally in the area.
“They were over 15 men, including some hired from Blantyre and Mzuzu… I know some of them,” he said. “They hacked our member, Joseph Matekenya, who is seriously injured and now in hospital.”
MCP national campaign director Moses Kunkuyu asked for more time before commenting on the matter.
He said: “I need to have details. So, I will come back to you.”
However, by press time, Kunkuyu had not given his party’s position.
Chikwawa Police Station spokesperson Foster Benjamin also confirmed that the incident happened, but asked for more time to source details.
A report by Malawi Electoral Integrity Pogramme released last week mentioned Chikwawa among conflict-prone districts in the run-up to Tuesday’s election. The report was based on data collected by a network of about 75 monitors.
Last month, DPP and MCP supporters also clashed at Nsangwe Trading Centre in Chikwawa South Constituency.