By: Ruth Chinangwa

Some concerned civil society organizations have cautioned women rights activists for taking sides in the ongoing political dispute between president peter Mutharika and the former president Dr Joyce Banda.

The organizations which include Islamic commission for justice and freedom, society platform for constructive dialogue and Stream of life made the remarks in a joint press briefing in Blantyre.

Representing the grouping Ceaser Kondowe of Society of Constructive Dialogue expressed concern over the exchange of verbal tirade between the two which occurred recently during their political rallies ahead of the 23rd presidential polls.

In his remarks he said it was unfortunate that the two senior leaders could trade such offensive words towards each other in the name of campaigning for the coming fresh presidential elections.

Kondowe added that the two leaders were wrong to wash each other’s dirty linen in the public just to entice Malawians to vote for them.

While condemning the malpractice, the grouping said it was unfair or some women rights bodies to ask President Peter Mutharika to apologize forgetting that Dr Joyce Banda who started the fight.

According to Kondowe, exchange of words has greatly contributed to the increase in political violence that has erupted in some parts of the country giving examples of Mponela Dowa, Mzuzu, Msundwe and phalombe incidences just to mention but a few.

In his sentiments he said it could be ideal for political party leaders to be in the fore front practicing an issue based campaign rather than that of hate speeches which the country has witnessed for the past two weeks.

Speaking during the same function, one of the panelists Luther Mambala further condemned youth involvement in violent activities.

He noted that in the recent activities political party leaders have been using young people to attack fellow leaders during the campaign period over baseless reasons.

Mambala reminded Malawians that young people are not the instruments of gangsters especially in the campaign period.

He said it’s sad to see that for the past 9 months young people have been used as a weapon of destruction which saw some people losing their lives, property being looted and injuring innocent people in the process.

The human rights activists said that time has come that Malawians should realize that a peaceful campaign is possible and that using youths to escalate violence in politics is violation of human rights.

The development has come barely some days after some civil society organizations dealing with women’s rights demanded an apology from President Peter Mutharika for calling the former president of the republic of Malawi Dr Joyce Banda a prostitute during one of his campaign rallies in Thyolo.

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