The Public Affairs Committee (PAC), a quasi-religious organisation, has condemned President Peter Mutharika and top Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) leaders for their derogatory language during a rally they held in Blantyre on Sunday.
In an interview yesterday, PAC publicity secretary Bishop Gilford Matonga said the remarks by the governing DPP leaders defeat efforts to build peace and unity in the country after the disputed May 21 2019 presidential election.
He said the use of bad language against fellow politicians and Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) leaders has the potential to create deep-rooted divisions in the country.
Said Matonga: “We say that the language has negative implications on the country. Since 2014, we have been telling leaders to promote peace. We are condemning any leader who insists on use of bad language against fellow leaders. This will fragment the nation, which is already divided.
“We have been urging leaders to focus on peace-building messages because we need to build this country. Let leaders speak peace so that we should build the country. We were encouraged when the President said he wanted to talk to opposition leaders when he was returning from Russia.”
Matonga, whose organisation engaged in dialogue sessions with political leaders including Mutharika after opposition leaders filed the elections case in court, said Mutharika and his team should tone down.
Meanwhile, political observer Humphreys Mvula has also faulted Mutharika and his team for taking turns castigating Vice-President Saulos Chilima and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera as well as HRDC leaders, saying leaders should mind their language in a tense political landscape.
He said: “It is sad that Cabinet ministers took turns to castigate others and it is more worrisome that the President did not even condemn them when he saw them using derogatory language. They should have focused on what they are going to offer to the country rather than castigating other leaders.
“In terms of the current political situation, it is wrong and it is troubling because we fought for freedom. There is a mental problem because whatsoever bad thing happens in DPP appears to be good and whatsoever good that happens in the opposition appears to be bad.”
Unlike his DPP vice-president (South) Kondwani Nankhumwa, Mutharika together with party secretary general Greselder Jeffrey, Minister of Homeland Security Nicholas Dausi and Deputy Minister of Transport and Public Works Charles Mchacha failed to tame their tongues and took turns to castigate Chilima, Chakwera and
leader Timothy Mtambo.
In his remarks Dausi said: “We know that Mtambo and Trapence are sent by MCP and UTM … Is it right that Chilima should plot to kill the Professor on Easter eve? This is the time of the suffering of Jesus Christ and a time to repent and begin doing good to people. You are plotting against somebody, why do you want to kill him? No, you are young…”
On his part, Mchacha alleged that Chilima is proposing violence in a clip he said will be circulated to the nation. He warned Chilima and others, saying they will be in trouble if they attempt to play around with Mutharika.
He said: “As a party, you gave us respect and there have been demonstrations in the country…We know Mtambo does not have followers, he fetches people from MCP and UTM… Mtambo says he wants to seal State House…I swear if he tries that, he should bid farewell to his home… if he tries we will meet there.”
In her remarks, Jeffrey took time to castigate MCP; saying it is a violent party that needs not to be ushered into power.
“MCP is a violent party… You have seen for yourself that they killed police officers. Can a party of this kind be in government…? Mr. Mtambo, enough is enough. Maybe a male witch may soften up, but when a female witch says I can kill you, it does not take time,” she said.
However, Mvula commended Nankhumwa for showing statesmanship as he took time to preach peace and unity while playing an advisory role to Mutharika and party supporters that they should consult God if they are to be successful in the forthcoming presidential election.
He told DPP supporters: “The word of God in Psalms 133 preaches that it is good and pleasing that brothers should come together.” Chilima’s spokesperson Pilirani Phiri refused to comment on the matter in an earlier interview, saying it was not necessary to do so whereas MCP spokesperson the Reverend Maurice Munthali is on record as saying that the party is peace-loving such that it could not subscribe to DPP thinking.