Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) and Youth and Society (YAS) have appealed to all political parties to break the cycle of political violence ahead of the pending presidential election.
In statement jointly released by CHRR Acting Executive Director Michael Kaiyatsa and YAS Executive Director Charles Kajoloweka, the organisations said there are rising political violence and police inaction in the country despite declarations by all the political leaders to campaign peacefully.
“Malawians’ demands for credible, free and fair elections cannot be met under the prevailing circumstances, and we appeal to all political parties to uphold their commitments to ensuring peaceful elections,” reads part of the statement.
The also bemoaned increasing tendency by politicians of radicalising young people in their political violence.
“We are also rebuking some political leaders who are manipulating and mobilising young people to perform violent acts against their opponents to further their selfish political objectives,” reads part of the statement.
The two organisations said they are also disturbed by the declaration of political ‘no-go zones’ to deny political contenders the right to campaign freely in their strongholds
“Creation of political barricades erodes democracy where all political parties should be free to campaign anywhere in Malawi without fear of being attacked,” the organisations said.
They have called upon political leaders to avoid divisive and provocative rhetoric, which they say fuels political violence and that politics ought to be a free market of transformative ideas, not verbal wars likely to mutate into physical attacks as witnessed lately.