Government has told Vice President Saulos Chilima to stop making careless statements.
Minister of Informatiom Henry Mussa who is also government spokesperson said this in reaction to Chilima’s remarks made at a press briefing on Wednesday.
Chilima condemned the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government for limiting oposition parties’ space and using violence to plant fear in Malawians ahead of the 2019 elections.
But Mussa in his statement today said government does not have a policy of violence or intolerance.
He added that Chilima is enjoying state amenities, including security and a salary despite not working because government is tolerant.
“The public may wish to be reminded that it is because Government does not pursue a policy of intolerance that Dr. Chilima still moves freely, still speaks freely, still travels freely, and still insults the President of the Republic freely, even as doing so is against the law.
“The policy that the Government of Malawi is following is grounded in the belief that Malawi is a democracy and, therefore, everyone should have the space within which they must freely live their lives, hold their beliefs s and express their opinions as long as, in doing all these, they do not cross the borders of the laws,” he said.
He also condemned the UTM leader for making threats of retaliation over the violence acts saying such pronouncements are irresponsible because they only serve to fertilize hatred and schemes of political thuggery which every Malawian should be abhorring.
He then assured Malawians that people involved in political violence will be tolerated, regardless of the suspect’s standing in society.
“We wish to commend the police for working diligently in dealing with these matters and effecting the arrests of the suspects of violence so far. We would also like congratulate all security organs of the state for the sacrifices that they make in ensuring that Malawi is peaceful and secure.
“We reject attempts by Dr Chilima to undermine some state security agencies and yet he is fighting elsewhere that the same should continue to provide a service to him,” he said.
On Chilima’s claims that government is using the violence as a form of rigging elections, Mussa said the Mutharika administration has confidence in the Malawi Electoral Commission delivering a free and fair election.
He said: “Dr. Chilima is advised to desist from making overzealous declarations because these tend to create expectations and a recipe for rejecting outcomes of elections when such expectations are not realized. Suffice it to say that the next vice president of the Republic will be known only after the Malawi Electoral Commission has declared results.”