Electoral stakeholders in Chikwawa under the Multiparty Liaison Committee (MPLC) in Chikwawa say they are on high alert to guard against any form of political violence that might arise ahead of the forthcoming fresh presidential elections.
The development follows an assault of Ufulu FM radio journalist last week, Macmillan Mozeo by a group of youth last week who accused him of damaging the image of the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) by writing a story in which he featured a confirmed corona virus patient from the district who is disputing the authenticity of his results.
Speaking during an interview this week, Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) Diocesan Coordinator for Chikwawa Diocese Louis Msiyadungu said the assault of the journalist is a wakeup call for the stakeholders in the district to start engaging all political parties on the need to ensure peace during the July 2 fresh presidential elections.
Msiyadungu was however quick to say that his organization alongside other stakeholders under the MPLC still await police report on the assault of the journalist to ascertain whether the attack was indeed politically motivated for proper intervention.
On his part, National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) Public Trust District Education Officer for Chikwawa Josephy Chamambala condemned the assault of the journalist, saying it’s high time people learned to respect dissenting views in a democratic dispensation.
Chamambala called upon the police in the district to urgently investigate and apprehend the master minders behind the journalist’s assault.
Meanwhile, DPP authorities in the district have denied being behind the attack as both the parliamentarian for Chikwawa North Constituency, where the incident took place, Owen Chomanika and the district governor Charles Makiyi said their youth were behind the attack.
In the 2019 polls, Chikwawa was one of the districts where reports of violence. In Chikwawa Nkombedzi and Chikwawa South Constituencies, supporters of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) parliamentary aspirants clashed with supporters of their DPP contenders.