Malawi Vice President Saulos Chilima has told the International Criminal Court (ICC) that President Peter Mutharika and Police Inspector General Duncan Mwapasa have been instructing cadets and police officers to attack the civilian population.
Chilima, who is also runningmate for the opposition Tonse Alliance in the 2020 elections, has made the allegations in a letter to the ICC dated June 11 2020.
He says the people sent by the two have committed crimes such as murder under Article 7(1) (a), rape and other forms of sexual violence under Article 7(1), causing severe injury under Article 7(1) (k) and persecution based on political affiliation under Article 7 (1) (h) of the Rome Statute.
He mentions the petrol bomb attack on a UTM office in Lilongwe where three members of one family were killed and the rape of women and girls by police officers at Msundwe, M’bwatalika and Mpingu trading centres in Lilongwe.
“There is an Election Campaign Strategy of the Democratic Progressive Party [DPP]— whose president is Arthur Peter Mutharika—by which the civilian population is systematically attacked, principally based on the use of DPP youth cadets, political allies, law enforcement agents [particularly the Malawi Police Service] on instructions of Arthur Peter Mutharika and Duncan Mwapasa.
“These attacks have translated into the systematic commission of crimes against humanity. Until now, those most responsible, those that promoted, encouraged and cooperated in the implementation of these attacks have not been investigated, prosecuted, or punished by the Malawi criminal justice system,” says Chilima.
The politician claims that these acts against humanity have not been investigated locally hence he wants the court to “determine whether there exists reasonable basis to initiate an investigation regarding the commission of crimes against humanity in Malawi when all the facts, as provided in the communication, are considered.”
Reacting to Chilima’s claims, presidential spokesperson Mgeme Kalilani said Chilima, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) leader Lazarus Chakwera and the Human Rights Defenders Coalition are the ones who started promoting acts of violence when challenging the results of the now nullified 2019 Presidential Elections.
“They can’t fool any reasonable court about their involvement. He is probably misleading himself to believing that he can also manipulate the ICC and use it as political tool,” said Chilima.
Malawians will vote in the Fresh Presidential Elections on June 23.
During the campaign period for the elections, there have been acts of violence against leaders and supporters of the opposition parties as well as the ruling party.
Each side has been accusing the other of being behind the acts of political violence.