The President Peter Mutharika administration has blamed post-election protests for the petrol bomb attack at rights activist Timothy Mtambo’s house.
In a statement posted on official Malawi Government Facebook page today, Minister of Information Mark Botomani linked the attack to the protests which Mtambo has been leading.
On Thursday, thugs threw three petrol bombs into Mtambo’s compound. One bomb hit and torched Mtambo’s car, a second was thrown at the gate and the last narrowly missed the house.
In the statement, Botomani expressed concern over the continued use of petrol bombs to attack some individuals in the country, He then pinned the attacks on the protests.
“Malawians know very well that the root cause of all this destruction is the violent demonstrations which have been happening in the country.
“Use of petrol bombs in this country and elsewhere is counterproductive and primitive. Malawi fought for democracy 25 years ago allowing divergent views. Democracy comes with tolerance and responsibility. As a nation, we must learn to live in harmony despite our differences,” said Botomani.
The Government spokesperson condemned the violent demonstrations and urged the HRDC to immediately stop the protests because they are destroying the country and people’s businesses.
He added that investigations are underway into the barbaric acts and that all culprits will be brought to book.
Mtambo’s HRDC has been instrumental in leading post-election protests following the 21 May election, calling for the Malawi Electoral Commission Chairperson Jane Ansah to resign from her position over allegations of mismanaging the election.
The demonstrations have been marred by violence with several buildings being set on fire.
These include government Treasury office in Mzuzu; Karonga District Council; Ministry of Information, Civic Education and Communications Technology headquarters; some police staff houses in Lilongwe; former cabinet minister Honourable Grace Chiumia’s house in Mzuzu.
The house of Malawi Electoral Commissioner the Reverend Killion Mgawi was also broken into and property stolen while demonstrations were taking place a few weeks ago.