I sur­vived 5 as­sas­si­na­tion at­tempts, Malawi leader

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

BLAN­TYRE — Malawi leader Peter Mutharika has said the cul­ture of ha­tred re­sulted in him be­ing hunted like a crim­i­nal at the time he was cam­paign­ing for the pres­i­dency.

Mutharika said it was only by the grace of God that he man­aged to survive five as­sas­si­na­tion plots in the run up to Malawi’s na­tional elec­tions in 2014.

“When I was cam­paign­ing to lead this coun­try, I was hunted like a crim­i­nal. I sur­vived five as­sas­si­na­tion at­tempts. I am happy that most of you gave me refuge, solace and courage. You have been the for­ti­tude of the per­se­cuted as Christ wishes,” he said dur­ing the con­se­cra­tion of a bishop at the week­end.

Mutharika said one of the chal­lenges fac­ing Malawi was the cul­ture of hate and envy that de­railed peo­ple from fighting poverty.

“There is a war of good and evil in the coun­try. Every time peo­ple fight for the good, evil fights them and every time peo­ple fight to take oth­ers to light, dark­ness and its forces in­ter­fere,” he said.

Mutharika has over the past two years been com­plain­ing about the per­se­cu­tion he suf­fered when his pre­de­ces­sor Joyce Banda was in power.

Among oth­ers, Mutharika reg­u­larly cites his ar­rest over al­le­ga­tions of plot­ting a coup d’etat when he was in op­po­si­tion as an ex­am­ple of per­se­cu­tion.

Dur­ing the Banda regime, Mutharika faced trea­son charges for al­legedly try­ing to pre­vent Banda from as­cend­ing into power.

Many an­a­lysts have said author­i­ties in Malawi use trea­son charges to si­lence those in op­po­si­tion or govern­ment crit­ics.

One prom­i­nent Malaw­ian lawyer re­cently ob­served that it was time Malaw­ians de­manded an­swers as to why a lot of re­sources were spent on sedi­tion and trea­son of­fences with­out any ap­pre­cia­ble progress be­ing reg­is­tered.

The lawyer Khumbo Soko said cases of trea­son pointed to an un­prin­ci­pled use of law en­force­ment pow­ers by the state.

“The his­tory of pros­e­cu­tion of trea­son of­fences in this coun­try, es­pe­cially since 1994, is rather trou­bling,” he said.

Cases of politi­cians and army of­fi­cers in Malawi who are ar­rested over trea­son cases end up be­ing dropped or in ac­quit­tals. — AFP

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