Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)-United Democratic Front (UDF) running-mate Atupele Muluzi has been accused of using Islamic region to gain political sympathy ahead of fresh presidential elections.
Immediately after he embarked on his campaign trail, the young Muluzi has been telling voters that Tonse Alliance which comprises of United Transformation Movement (UTM), Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and nine other parties does not like Muslims.
In his remarks at one of the whistle-stop tours he held in Chiradzulu, Muluzi cited an example of a policeman who was stoned to death last year in October at Nsundwe in the capital Lilongwe.
‚ÄúLadies and gentlemen, I am a Muslim. Some ten months ago, some group of people descended on a police officer Sergeant Imedi. They shouted you are a Muslim from Mangochi and lynched him to death. Would you trust leaders championing this to take over government?‚ÄĚ said Muluzi in Chiradzulu.
The young Muluzi has since received criticisms from different people of which some include Muslims and has been warned to stop using Islam for his political gains.
One journalist Malick Mnela has since told Muluzi that using Islam as a card to gain his political ambitions is ineffective in earning him political mileage.
Mnela in a social media post condemned Muluzi for using the death of Imedi to incite hatred towards opponents.
He added that the ‚ÄúIslamic puritanism‚ÄĚ approach Muluzi has chosen in his political outbursts also pits Muslim against Muslim.
‚ÄúThis strategy can incite Muslims in two ways. Firstly, it has potential to ignorantly prompt religious-political violence, between Muslims and among Malawians of diverse beliefs.
‚ÄúSecondly, Muluzi‚Äôs political rhetoric anchored on the pro-Islamic narrative could prompt some of the Muslim faithful to do a quick inquiry into the past politically incited deaths, beatings and ostracisation, resulting in taking dirty linen to the public.
‚ÄúIf Muluzi‚Äôs message is (intentionally or mistakenly) understood as an alert for retribution, some ‚Äújihadist‚ÄĚ elements could emerge against those alleged or perceived to have sponsored the attacks that led to the death of their fellow Muslim,‚ÄĚ said Mnela.
He also wondered why Muluzi did not mention other Muslims whose murders were linked to politics.
Mnela mentioned former Anti-Corruption Bureau employee Issa Njauju, person with Albinism MacDonald Masambuka, former presidential advisor in the Bakili Muluzi administration Kalonga Stambuli, and three members of the Tambala family who died recently after a petrol bomb attack.
‚ÄúIt is in the grapevine that he (Stambuli) died on matters bordering on politics, like Imedi and Njauju. Just that Mr. Muluzi could not muster the courage to tell the whole story of Muslims matryed as a result of politics in Malawi,‚ÄĚ Mnela said.
He then urged Muluzi to preach unity as he continues on the campaing trail.
He also encouraged Muslims in the country not to allow politicians to sow seeds of division ahead of fresh polls.
Said Mnela: ‚ÄúA politician pursuing a segmented approach just to earn your votes based on demographics cannot unit us as a country after the elections.‚ÄĚ
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