Unidentified people who ambushed People’s Party (PP) acting president Uladi Mussa’s recent meeting in Mzuzu resurfaced to attack a solidarity rally Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera held in the city yesterday.
Chakwera co-addressed the rally with other opposition party leaders at Chibavi Primary School ground in the northern city.
Chakwera, Alliance for Democracy (Aford) president Enoch Chihana, PP third vice-president Kamlepo Kalua and other opposition members of Parliament (MPs) started the day by attending a church service at St Andrews Church of the Livingstonia Synod of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP).
However, trouble started when the assailants invaded the football ground and removed PP colours while the youths from the three political parties—MCP, PP and Aford—started to set the venue for the rally. The youth said when they reasoned with the gang, the men produced pangas and started attacking them.
Two people were injured in the fracas and some vehicles smashed.
The two injured were rushed to the hospital for treatment.
When the opposition leaders arrived at the venue in the afternoon, the thugs showed up again and started to cause havoc. Security personnel at the rally tried to keep them away but they kept on returning.
When Chihana took to the podium to address the rally, the thugs turned violent and produced pangas.
One of the thugs hit a member of MCP with a panga, prompting youths from the three parties to take chase. The thugs run for their lives and threw away the pangas.
Police officers were nowhere to be seen as this happened yet the parties said they had informed them about the meeting.
Chihana condemned the attack and alleged that the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) had a hand in the violence.
Chakwera, who said he was saddened by the bloody attack, said he can never be intimidated by the attacks. He said if government has money, it should buy maize for people and not pangas.
He said: “People voted to have a multiparty system of government. No one should take us back to the one party system. No! I am saddened that a beautiful city like this, with beautiful people like you can have elements that can succumb to being used to harm and hurt their fellow Malawians.”
Police officers, armed with guns, came to the scene around 5pm in an armoured vehicle after the rally had ended and opposition leaders had left. The development irked youths who asked the police to leave. The police hesitated and the youth started stoning them.
Northern Region Police spokesperson Maurice Chapola did not pick up his phone.
But Minister of Information, Tourism and Civic Education Jappie Mhango said the opposition should not drag the DPP administration into their conflicts. He said internal conflicts in PP and MCP were haunting the two parties.