In a letter dated 13th July 2020 and signed by DPP secretary general, Gelzeder Jeffrey wa Jeffrey, whose copy Nyasa Times has seen, the former governing party says it is of the view that for the restoration of peace and stability in Malawi after the recent political turmoil, it was important for government to reach out to the DPP and other political parties to create a peaceful Malawi.
“We need to build mutual confidence and pursue dialogue to ensure political, social and economic development of the country.
“Indeed, in light of the global Covid-19 pandemic, the DPP would wish to encourage Your Excellency’s government to concentrate more on tackling the crisis to limit its human and economic impact than promoting hate-politics,” reads the letter in part.
The new government has embarked on a crackdown against corruption, theft and abuse of office offences, among others allegedly committed by members and sympathizers of the previous DPP government.
Among others, police have arrested DPP Central Region Governor David Kambalame, former president Peter Mutharika’s security aide Paulos Norman Chisale and former Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) second in-charge Roza Mbilizi.
In the letter, Jeffrey says DPP registers “its strongest disappointment over a spate of politically-motivated arrests that your Government has enacted over the last couple of days against members and sympathisers of our party”.
It reads: “We observe that the arrests have taken a form of vindictive rounding up of whoever is connected to the DPP without regard to evidence of wrongdoing. These arrests have nothing to do with the rule of law but borne out of hatred by the new Government against sympathisers of DPP and former President, His Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika. We would like to complain and condemn in the strongest terms possible this shocking display of hatred and blatant abuse of power by Your Excellency’s Government,” it reads.
According to the letter, the party expected the new government to immediately start implementing social and economic development initiatives based on the President’s campaign promises, as a priority, instead of arresting DPP members on politically-motivated charges.
“The DPP wishes to remind Your Excellency about what you said at your inauguration that you will be President for all Malawians who will focus on nation building and not vindictive politics. The DPP wishes to encourage you to walk your talk.
“The DPP does not believe that its leaders, members and sympathisers should be treated as sacred cows. We know we are equal under the laws of the land and we only demand to be treated as such. However, the way your Government is ill-treating DPP members suggests that you have now classified us as ‘second class citizens’ owing to our affiliation to the DPP,” claims Jeffery.
She informs President Chakwera that her party “is a big institution”, which played and still plays a critical role in entrenching and sustaining democracy in Malawi.
“The DPP will not be cowed into submission or relegated to the footnote of politics by any arbitrary arrests and intimidation by your Government and its agents.
“We are ready to play our rightful role in the entrenchment of our democracy through providing checks and balances to your Government. We, therefore, wish to urge Your Excellency to desist from the vindictive path that your Government has taken because it is counterproductive and retrogressive,” reads the letter.
On a lighter note and in conclusion, the DPP secretary general wishes President Chakwera “continued good health and good luck as you manage state affairs”.
Jeffrey confirmed to have authored and dispatched the letter to President Chakwera “because we are seriously concerned”.
President Chakwera’s Executive Assistant Sean Kampondeni’s could not immediately comment.