Respondents in a Nation on Sunday survey have questioned the motive that drove the Malawi Police Service to stop DPP acting president Peter Mutharika from addressing the party’s supporters in a recent whistle-stop tour from Lilongwe to Blantyre.
The tour came after Mutharika and 10 others had been granted bail in a treason case which stemmed from events that occurred after the death of Bingu wa Mutharika in April 2012.
As the younger Mutharika drove back to his Southern Region base, he wanted to address supporters at Lunzu in Blantyre, but police stopped him, ostensibly because he did not obtain permission to do so.
Sixty-six percent of the 1 313 respondents sampled in 19 districts and through our Short Message Service condemned the police action.
The party had planned to address supporters along the M1 Road starting from Ntcheu to Blantyre, but were only able to address one gathering at Chingeni Turn-Off, having been barred at Ntcheu, according to the party’s Southern Regional governor Noel Masangwi.
Minister of Information and Civic Education Moses Kunkuyu said DPP did not seek permission to address the party’s supporters.
He said police were unable to plan security measures in the absence of a notice.
National Police spokesperson Rhoda Manjolo on Saturday refused to comment on the survey, saying police already justified their decision.