MUTHARIKA declares: 'They will take over Government over my dead body’

Written by  Felix Mponda

Malawian President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika on Saturday declared that opposition leaders backed by rights groups seeking to turn Malawi into a lawless state "will only take this Government over my dead body.”

President Mutharika, Commander-In-Chief of the Malawi Defence Force, inspects a guard of honour at the 55th independence celebrations on Saturday. President Mutharika, Commander-In-Chief of the Malawi Defence Force, inspects a guard of honour at the 55th independence celebrations on Saturday.

“They want to create lawlessness so that they can take over this government. But they will only take this government over my dead body,” Mutharika said, in a keynote speech marking 55 years of independence at the Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.


The 55th celebrations since Malawi gained independence from Britain in 1964, were held under the theme "Clebrating Our Independence with Peace, Love and Unity" and were spiced with a soccer match between Nyasa Big Bullets(0) and Be Forward Wanderers (1) who carted home K5 million each, courtesy of President Mutharika. Traditional dances and military displays were part of the celebrations.


In a speech to reconcile and unify the nation after violent demos staged by rights groups and the opposition, Mutharika, who was declared presidential winner by the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) of the May 21 vote after walloping MCP’s Lazarus Chakwera and Saulos Chilima of UTM, said: “The violence you see is calculated to turn Malawi into a lawless state.


“This is why they want to undermine every democratic institution that ensures law and order in this country.”


Rights groups under the umbrella body of Human Rights Defenders Coalition, joined by the opposition, have been staging violent demos in major cities of the country over the past weeks, causing mayhem, distrupting businesses and demonstrators openly looting shops, beating people and torching police and government offices. They demand the resignation of MEC Chairperson Justice Jane Ansah.


Mutharika said such violent acts were meant “to undermine our courts because courts make us a democratic and lawful country. They want to intimidate our chiefs because chiefs are custodians of our traditional laws.”


He also accused the groups of wanting to undermine the Malawi Electoral Commission because “this is the body that oversees democratic transition.”


The President said: “They are creating propaganda against Army and Police because these are hardworking security officers who keep law and order.”


He said: "They want to intimidate vendors, shop owners and banks from doing their business because “they don’t want you business people to succeed in your lives.”


Mutharika said the situation was created by "selfish people who do not love this country...nd these people who do not love you Malawians.”


He said the violence was unacceptable, saying intimidating people who support government was unacceptable. He added: “Intimidating innocent business people is unacceptable. Intimidating our chiefs is unacceptable.”

He said Malawi will “hold them accountable and the law will take action.”

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