Police officers on Saturday removed Demoratic Progressive Party (DPP) regional governor for the north Christopher Ngwira from the Ngoni Umthetho event at Hora in Mzimba following “directives from senior government officials”.

Ngwira , in whose constituency the event took place, confirmed that he gave in to a number of calls from the security detail for him to leave the place, claiming that the police officers told him that some government officials were not comfortable with his presence.

“The police off i c e r s told me that they were only implementing directives from some senior government officials that were present during the event, but did not name them,” Ngwira said.

“I am sure the whole thing was political because at some point one senior police officer told me that he was instructed to inform me that I should either take off a badge of former President Bingu wa Mutharika I was putting on or I should leave the place.”

National police spokesperson Davie Chingwalu said yesterday he was not aware of the incident as he did not attend the event.

Police Public Relations Officer for the North Norah Chimwala declined to comment on the matter.

Efforts to talk to organisers of the event proved futile as they could not be reached on their mobiles phones. They were said to be in Hora area where mobile network reception is erratic.

However, a member the Mzimba Heritage Foundation confided in The Daily Times that some officials whom he refused to name were uncomfortable even with Ngwira’s contribution to the function being acknowledged publicly.

Ngwira was acknowledged at the event as having contributed a bull, K50,000 cash, 10 chickens, two 50kg bags of rice and 20 litres of cooking oil.

“Immediately after coming out of dancing Ingoma, I was beckoned by a police officer who told me that I should stop some DPP members from coming to the event because they wanted to cause violence,” Ngwira said.

“I went and told the members not to come to the event in party colours. That was just for the sake of peace because our colleagues [from Peoples Party] were putting on their orange colours. But when I came back, they started asking me to leave.”

He said he refused to leave on a number of occasions and only left after some senior police officers threatened that they would remove him violently because they were working on orders from above.

The development came amid rumours around the event that some PP youths forced people in DPP T-shirts to remove them and wear PP T-shirts which the said youths gave out.

Alliance for Democracy’s Dan Msowoya, who saw Ngwira being taken away by police officers, condemned the development, saying it never augured well with calls by President Joyce Banda for people in the country to live in harmony regardless of their diverse political views.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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