18TH March 2014
Malawi Electoral Support Network (MESN) has learnt with great shock about the violence that erupted at President Joyce Banda’s mass rally in Thyolo on Sunday, March 16 2014. The political violence resulted in the death of two people, a civilian and a police officer. This is uncalled for and very unfortunate. MESN sends its sympathies to the bereaved families.
MESN condemns violence in the run up to the May 20 tripartite elections as that has the potential of scaring away voters to participate in the electoral processes that would help them make informed choices of their leaders. MESN asks political party leaders to urge their supporters to avoid violence at any cost. MESN urges political parties to advance issue based campaign. Malawi is known to be a peaceful nation and as such MESN condemns any leader or party that would want to turn it into a battle-ground . MESN calls upon leaders of all political parties to desist from using the youth to attack their opponents in the name of political campaign.
We also urge leaders of political parties to desist from using hate speech when addressing their supporters. Hate speech is a recipe for violence. Malawians are tired of political leaders who promote hate speech. Malawians want clean politicians who will bring hope to their suffering and pain. At 50 now, the country has not benefitted anything from hate speech and violence; instead, innocent lives have been lost. MESN asks law enforcers to do their work professionally and bring to justice perpetrators of violence without fear or bias.
MESN calls upon all electoral stakeholders to ensure that the playing field is leveled so that Malawians are given the opportunity to freely participate in the forthcoming elections.