…UTM rebuffs Papa
Prophet Shepherd Bushiri has warned Malawi President Peter Mutharika and opposition leaders Saulos Chilima and Lazarus Chakwera against dividing the country over May 2019 elections.
The controversial prophet who is answering money laundering and fraud charges in South Africa also condemned the Anti-Jane Ansah protests.
Bushiri, also known as Major 1, issued the warning during a press conference he convened on Wednesday in Rustenburg, South Africa.
Prophet Bushiri said the election case which is currently underway at the Malawi Constitutional Court sitting in Lilongwe is a ticking bomb bound to explode regardless of the ruling.
In making the appeal, the Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) church leader urged politicians and political parties involved in the case to prepare their respective followers to avoid further chaos as a result of the Constitutional Court ruling.
He said the country is currently a “divided nation” as manifested in the violent protests which are calling for the resignation of the Malawi Electoral Commission chairperson Jane Ansah for presiding over what activists consider to be fraudulent presidential polls.
“Let’s not underestimate the power of the Constitutional Court’s ruling on the peace of the country. Expectations are huge on both sides of the isle. We are sitting on a timely bomb as a nation. I am here therefore to make a strong appeal to our political leaders to start preparing people in their camps to accept the Court’s decision by end of the day” he appealed.
Prophet Bushiri said he wanted to begin a national conversation of peace through his press briefing.
He called upon the Malawi Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DODMA) to prepare for the political strife that will emerge following the ruling saying it is a disaster.
He told DPP to prepare its ‘cadets’ saying the “we need peace in Malawi forever” before offering to be a party to the peace building process in the country.
“I love Malawi and I will do anything to be part of the process that will protect and safeguard the interests of all our people. Malawians want peace and I am here to begin the process that will ensure our people enjoy everlasting peace” he said.
He said he was compelled to speak despite being in diaspora because people in the country are doing nothing or talking peace yet the “country is going down the drain contrary to our National Anthem which says ‘keep this land, a land of peace'”.
He warned that he can foresee “a very political problem” that is going to rise when the ruling is made.
Bushiri condemns violent protests
While acknowledging that every Malawian has a birthright to protest, he condemned in “strongest terms” the manner in which the ‘Jane Ansah Must Fall’ protests “are happening”.
“Our country respects the constitution and every Malawian has a right to hold protests. But I condemn in big terms the manner in which the demonstrations are happening.
“I support the demonstrations that are happening in the country. They should continue. They should not stop because it is their right. But I condemn everything what is happening inside these demonstrations”
“The demonstrations are being called peaceful but these demonstrations are not peaceful at all to someone like me. It is their right to demonstration but I am pleading with the leaders of the demonstrators to preach peace in everything they are doing rather than promoting hatred.
“I come from one of most peaceful countries but right now Malawi is not being rated as peaceful at this point in time. Let us maintain peace. They should demonstrate the way they want but let them preach the message of peace. We have no problems with them doing any demonstration.
“I do not think it is right to have people beaten. I felt so sorry for a woman who was brutally abused just because she’s a journalist among demonstrators. Another woman who works as a CID officer who was on duty among demonstrators trying to see who is causing rioting and looting the shops. She was on duty innocently. But when the demonstrators discovered her to being among them, she was beaten. Is this the Malawi we are looking for? To make matters worse, no one apologized to her. No politician or even the activist apologized.
“No one is apologizing to women and people who are losing their properties during these protests. No political leader is willing to come out to apologize. It takes a great man to say ‘we are sorry’.
Unfortunately, very soon we will see people with government connections being compensated. I understand Mulli Brothers were compensated. But every person who has lost property everywhere should be compensated” said Bushiri while condemning the protests” said Bushiri.
“But nobody is thinking about those people. I am urging all leaders to come in and try to find out how much has been lost. The government is doing nothing. The leaders of the opposition are doing nothing. These people who are being abused and harrassed are not Jane Ansah. They need our love”
“The streets are chaotic and businesses are coming to a standstill. Innocent lives are being lost”.
The controversial prophet who is unable to leave South Africa without seeking prior permission from the HAWKs, South Africa’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation who have confiscated his travelling documents offered to convene dialogue among political parties involved in the court case.
He however warned the ruling DPP against underestimating the demonstrators.
“Our leaders appear to have vowed to continue disagreeing without end. We are living in a state where leaders have agreed not to completely disagree.
“DPP should not take demonstrators as fools. Don’t underestimate the number of fools in large numbers. People’s voices must be heard” he said.
Major risks being in contempt
Prophet Bushiri said it was depressing to see that the opposition parties and the ruling DPP are not preparing their camps to accept the court ruling.
Meanwhile, UTM has condemned Bushiri for commenting on the matter that is court. The party’s spokesperson, Joseph Chidanti-Malunga, said Bushiri risks being in-contempt of court.
“As Malawians, including men and women of God, we should respect the fact that the matter is in court. We should, therefore, all wait for the court outcome. To suggest otherwise would be going against the court procedures,” Chidanti-Malunga has been quoted as saying.