The People’s Party (PP) of state vice president Joyce Banda has said it is the right of every citizen of Malawi to seek courts’ redress if they felt aggrieved.

The PP recently dragged to court governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) top officials for spreading “propaganda maliciously intended to create criminal offence.”

PP legal adviser Paul Maulidi told a news conference in Lilongwe recently that the PP was also suing state-controlled Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) for publicizing the allegations that PP and its leader, Banda, were sponsoring civil society vigils and demonstrations to bring about “an unconstitutional regime change in the country.”

According to Maulidi, PP is suing DPP spokesperson Hetherwick Ntaba, campaign director Ken Zikhale Ng’oma, national organising secretary Francis Mphepo and information and civic education Minister Patricia Kaliati.

But DPP secretary general Wakuda Kamanga accused the state vice president of “intolerance” on MBC on Saturday, saying if she had ambitions to rule this country she ought to be “tolerant to criticism”.

PP national publicity director Stephen Mwenye told Nyasa Times that the allegation of “taking over government by force is a serious offence under the laws of the land punishable by death.”

He added: “Nobody would want to be killed for no offence.”

Mwenye disclosed that the PP’s motivation to go to court was Kaliati’s insinuations that the party had remained quiet even in the light of the September 15 allegations, which in effect, meant that the allegations were true.

“Now that the PP has gone to court, the DPP should not cry foul. We’re not turning back but going ahead with our litigation,” the PP publicist emphasized.

On another note, Mwenye said the party was “tired” of calls for Banda to resign her constitutional position as state vice president, reiterating “she is won’t move an inch”.

In his statement, Kamanga accused Banda of being “double-faced”, saying she clings on to her position to benefit public financial resources to run her party.

But Mwenye countered Kamanga’s suggestions, saying to the contrary, it is the DPP which is run on public funds and resources from statutory corporations and the treasury. He said the PP is run on financial and other resources from sources that do not “flout any laws”.

“The DPP SG also brands Right Honourable Joyce Banda as having low-thinking capacity. We don’t think so for a reason. In the first place, government under its infamous zero-deficit budget introduced value-added tax on salt, bread and other life necessities and when Madame Banda requested government to remove such tax, it accepted.

“When Madame cried foul over a decree to stop people from buying the scarce fuel in Zigubu (jerry-cans) as women who depend on diesel maize mills in the villages would bear the brunt, government reversed that order; now, who, between the two sides, has low-thinking capacity? Obviously Madame vice president has higher thinking capacity,” opined Mwenye.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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