UN wants perpetrators of parliament violence prosecuted

The United Nations (UN) in Malawi has expressed worry over acts of violence happening in the country ahead of tripartite elections next year.   

In a statement dated May 9, 2018, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Malawi Ms. Maria Jose Torres said it is very sad to note that the incidences are taking place at the beginning of the electoral period.

The statement mentions the threats and intimidation of some Members of Parliament (MPs) who attended the opening of the 2018/2019 national budget session at the National Assembly in Lilongwe on Friday.

The statement also cites the assault of Times journalist, threats directed to female councilors and some civil society activists as also worrisome.

The UN in Malawi has asked all responsible authorities to investigate the matter and prosecute the perpetrators.

The statement underlines the importance of full respect for the rights to freedom of expression, association, peaceful assembly and political participation including the women.

‘’Promoting conditions for holding credible, free and fair election in 2019, requires tolerance and respect of the rule of law that enables citizen’s equal participation including for women,’’ the statement read.

President Peter Mutharika and his deputy Saulos Chilima joi9ned Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA- Malawi) also released their separate statements condemning the violent incidences.

Information and Communications minister Nicholas Dausi also apologized to the media fraternity in the country over the incidences.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) supporters on Friday barred two DPP parliamentarians from entering the National Assembly and beating up the photo journalist for filming the incident.

The supporters accused the parliamentarians allegedly pushing for the presidency of the Vice President Chilima in 2019 presidential elections.

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