Security personnel belonging to Citizens for Transformation (CFT) leader Timothy Mtambo on Wednesday intercepted 17 suspected hooligans who had allegedly planned to unleash violence during a Tonse Alliance whistle-stop tour in Blantyre.
The unidentified suspects were found with newly-acquired pangas, among other weapons, as alliance members were addressing supporters in Ndirande Township and Blantyre Main Market.
CFT is a member of Tonse Alliance, an electoral grouping of nine political parties, among them, Malawi Congress Party (MCP), UTM Party, People’s Party (PP), Umodzi Party (UP) and People’s Transformation Party (Petra).
Speaking in an interview after escaping the suspects’ attempts to destabilise the campaign tour, Mtambo decried what he described as “politics of savagery”.
“This savagery type of politics must end now. Let politics be issued-based,” bemoaned the CFT leader.
Mtambo, a human rights activist-turned-politician, said 11 of the suspects were apprehended by the security team in Ndirande and six at Blantyre Main Market after an alert by the intelligence squad.
Ndirande Police spokesperson Edna Mzingwitsa referred the issue to National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera who did not pick up his phone after several attempts.
The incident comes barely a week after the police met leadership of political parties on how to curb violence during campaign period.
The past three weeks have seen one of the country’s worst political violence following the death of three family members—a father, mother and a child- who died in Lilongwe after suspected hoodlums torched a building they were sleeping in.