Tit for tat: Mutharika billboard removed in Karonga

A day after UTM party presidents billboard was removed by unknown people in the lakeshore district, on Monday night another group retaliated by destroying the billboard of President Peter Mutharika that was mounted at Karonga hospital turnoff.

The billboard that carried the Malawi rural electrification programme’s (MAREP) message, is in tatters following its removal. Mutharika is also DPPs presidential candidate in the forthcoming polls.

Destroyed billboard at KDHO turnoff-Pic by Jordan

As if that is not enough, the people went a step further to destroy the other part of the billboard that had the face of Arthur Peter Mutharika opposite Karonga district magistrate court whose other side had the destroyed UTM party President Saulos Chilima which sparked the whole controversy.

Speaking in an interview, a chancellor college based political commentator Dr. Mustapha Hussein said it is sad that in an era like this one there are people who still think that political confrontation is the way to go that is why they are busy removing their opponents campaign billboards.

The message about the importance of holding peaceful elections has gone far and beyond. Various stakeholders have preached this using all sorts of media outlets and we thought by now every political party supporter would be calm.

Therefore, I condemn this in the strongest terms and I urge all political party leaders to advise their followers to desist from tendencies that may trigger political violence and in turn affect the credibility of the second tripartite polls, Hussein said.

Hussein, however, ended by imploring the police to intensify security and apprehend perpetrators of the acts and make sure that the law takes its course.

Station officer for Karonga district police senior Superintendent Joyce Mphepo said her office has intensified both day and night patrols to make sure that they restore political tolerance to avoid a repeat of 2014.

When this reporter sought views from the DPPs regional governor Kenneth Sanga on the development, he said journalists in the country are biased and are sympathizing with the UTM party as no any media house carried an article when the DPPs flags and billboards were vandalized and removed in Mzuzu.

Why are you asking me about that all because it is Chilimas billboard that has been removed? Where were you when the DPPs campaign material was removed in Mzuzu? I am not answering that one, discharged Sanga.
On his part, Karonga District Elections Coordinator (DEC), Emmanuel Bulukutu said the only solution to end the escalation of political violence is to call for a Multiparty Liaison Committee (MPLC) meeting whereby all political parties and stakeholders will iron out their differences and restore peace.

“As the districts DEC and MPLC chairperson, I will immediately call for an MPLC meeting to address the situation as soon as possible before the situation gets out of hand, Bulukutu said.

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