As the fever continues to mount in the run-up to the May 20 Tripartite Elections, political violence reared its head yesterday evening when a group of assailants attacked comedian Michael Usi as he concluded his public lecture at Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe.
According to the thespian, who trades under the Manganya moniker, the assailants, who numbered over 20, threatened him and forced him off the stage as he entertained questions from the audience at the end of the debate held in the hotel’s Sapitwa Room.
According to Usi, trouble started when one of the patrons rose to ask him a question.
“He asked why I was attacking PP as if these problems have not been there all along. But this question had nothing to do with the debate because the debate was about celebrating Malawi’s 50 years; what we have done well and where we have failed,” said Usi, dismissing rumours that he was battling for his life.
The comedian claimed his attackers were PP functionaries.
“The person who attacked me and told me to get off the stage was wearing a PP neck-tie,” said Usi.
PP deputy spokesperson Ken Msonda in an interview last evening said he “just heard about the incident” but was quick to distance his party from the fracas, saying it is a peaceful party.
He said in the run-up to the elections anyone can masquerade as a member of the governing party to tarnish its image.
Said Msonda: “Let’s wait for police to investigate the issue. That is when Malawians will know the truth. Malawians know that PP is a peaceful party that does not retaliate to provocation, so why should we [PP] hit back at Manganya, an artist, who is not a politician… Fisianakanansatsi.”
Lilongwe Police spokesperson Ramsey Mushani asked for more time to investigate because he had not yet got a report on the incident.