Followers of aspiring Peoples Party (PP) Member of Parliament for Rumphi East Constituency, Kamlepo Kalua Wednesday attacked and beat up relatives of Esther Chinula who is a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) parliamentary candidate for the constituency.
DPP Constituency Governor for Rumphi East, Majiwiska Mkandawire alleged that on Wednesday this week, a group of youthful thugs armed with panga knives and other weapons who were driven in a three tonner lorry descended on Chinula’s home where they assaulted some of her relatives.
He said the saga started Tuesday night when the alleged assailants went to the house of Chinula asking about her whereabouts but the DPP party officials had already relocated her to a safer place.
“The group of youth went to the house of Chinula asking about her whereabouts, so we agreed that our aspiring Member of Parliament Chinula should spend a night at Jalawe.
“We decided to relocate Chinula to a safer place for the night, having sensed that she would not be safe at her home.
“This morning we have received reports that her relatives have been assaulted,” explained Mkandawire.
Mkandawire told journalists that the assaulted relatives were taken to Chiweta Police Unit to collect referral letters for them to have medical treatment for the sustained injuries.
However, when contacted, Kalua refuted the allegations describing them as mere DPP propaganda aimed at tarnishing his image. He said as an advocate for women’s rights, he cannot be associated with hooliganism.
Kamlepo said the DPP functionaries have been deliberately provoking him by insulting him and that on Wednesday, Chinula’s followers stoned his car but he never reacted to the alleged provocations.
“They have been provocative for so long. They always insult me, I always keep my temper cool, even police officers at Chiweta are aware of these provocative acts. They stoned my vehicles today.
“I am an advocate of women’s rights so there is no need for me to be intimidating Esther Chinula just because we are contesting for the same position.
“I know they are trying to create a situation to necessitate cancellation of the polls in this constituency because they know that their candidate is unpopular,” said Kalua.
Meanwhile, Rumphi Police Officer In-Charge, Ulemu Kalua has confirmed that his office had received reports of the attacks on Chinula’s relatives and said the matter was under investigation.