Government rejects UTM apology

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A war of words has ensued between the DPP administration and UTM over issues surrounding the beating up of a journalist in Blantyre.

George Banda, a Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) stringer was manhandled by UTM supporters at COMESA hall in Blantyre, last Wednesday.

The incident happened when UTM Presidential Candidate Saulos Chilima was presenting his nomination papers to MEC.

Chilima eventually condemned the act and ordered the arrest of those involved in the harassment.

Apart from the verbal condemnation of the act, the UTM leader wrote MISA Malawi Chairperson Teresa Ndanga, apologising to the media fraternity that such attacks will not happen again.

However, in the letter, Chilima indicates that Banda was attacked by UTM security team, in a case of mistaken identity. This has attracked criticism from the public who are concluding that the attack was in actual fact aimed at a certain individual.

This has also irked the government, therefore pushing the UTM leader to name the target of such an attack.

In a statement, the government spokesperson Henry Mussa, dismisses the apology, and demands reasons for planning to attack the target.

Mussa hopes that law enforcement agencies will ensure that those targeted by the UTM are protected and those plotting violence to be brought to book.

The development follows widespread condemnation on political violence ahead of the May 21 elections. With the days drawing closer the changes in the political landscape have brought about tension among those aiming for various seats.



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