Head of Catholic church in Malawi, Bishop Joseph Zuza has condemned the violence unleashed by ruling DPP thugs in the commercial city Blantyre on Tuesday. The gang of machete-wielding youths took to the streets in DPP branded vehicles and stopped at several points, got out their vehicles and sharpened their pangas. “It’s scary. They have literally blocked the main road and are sharpening their knives right on the tarmac and threatening everyone,” a bank executive, who did not want to be named, told Reuters. Bingu’s Young cadets wileding machetes Eye witness report said they chanted the now familiar DPP war-cry in Malawi’s lingua franca, Chichewa: “ Onyoza boma sagona, timpweteka ! (“Those opposing government will not sleep, we will deal with them!”) They also savagely attacked a Mandasi seller who appeared to have made“rude” remarks against the threats.   Fresh reports indicate another vehicle belonging to an NGO Torch Trust has been attacked today in Blantyre, its windows smashed. Bishop Zuza condemned the violent attacks.   “These are not promoting peace and love,” said Bishop Zuza, head of the Episcopal Conference of Malawi.   “We have stressed the importance o peaceful dialogue,” he added.   Zuza said authorities must respect the rights of those taking part in peaceful protests. “If they want to demonstrate let them be done peaceful,” he said.   The demonstrations are to protest alleged lack of good governance, human rights, scarcity of fuel, scarcity of forex and drugs in hospitals.   Amnesty International has also added its voice on the matter.   “President Mutharika’s government must allow the planned peaceful demonstrations to go ahead without imposing unjustified restrictions on Malawians’ internationally guaranteed human rights,” said Michelle Kagari, Amnesty International’s Africa Deputy Director.   “Given the Malawian government’s recently increased intolerance of dissenting voices, violent suppression of peaceful protests is a real concern.”   “The police must respect the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and stick to international principles for policing protests. If the protests become violent, they must only use the minimum force necessary to quell the violence.”   The protesters include a wide swath of civil society activists encompassing students, human rights groups and religious organizations.—( Reporting by Green Muheya, Nyasa Times )

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Malawi Catholic head condemns DPP violence

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