Malawi’s CFT hits back at DPP parliamentarian Martha Lunji who called for Mtambo’s head: “She is a frustrated soul”
The Citizens For Transformation Movement (CFT) Communications and Public Relations Strategist, Negracious Justin, has hit back at the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Deputy Whip, Martha Lunji, who called upon President Lazarus Chakera to fire Timothy Pagonachi Mtambo as Minister of Civic Education and National Unity.
Speaking in Parliament on Tuesday, Lunji, who is a DPP Parliamentarian representing Nkhotakota North East constituency called for Mtambo’s head on the chopping board claiming that he was involved in demonstrations that saw people’s houses and other structures being destroyed.
Reacting to the calls, Justin contended that the calls are without substance and signifies unmerited vent of anger and frustrations.
“The remarks made by the Mrs. Martha Lunji, a DPP parliamentarian, are both nonsensical for their lack of substance and are coming across as unmerited exhaust of frustrations and anger”, he said while contending that:
“The argument that the Minister of Civic Education and National Unity should be fired because he was involved in mass demonstrations claiming that such demonstrations resulted into people’s houses and other structures being destroyed reflects the utmost nonsense that any reasonable mind cannot be expected to display.”
Justin argued that the demonstrations, which were calling for electoral justice, were vindicated by both the Court by nullifying the disputed election, the Parliament by determining that the Malawi Electoral Commission leadership conducted the disputed election without competence, and by Malawians in general by voting out the regime that benefited from the disputed election.
“I have noted that her opinion is not suggesting that the Minister was not supposed to be appointed as Minister in the first place. She goes straight into suggesting that he should be fired for being involved in the said demonstrations and not for failing to execute his assigned job. Right there, her calls come across very weak. Firstly, such an opinion is ignoring or sidelining the fact that all opposition figures then, who are now leaders of the new administration were not only endorsing, but also getting involved in the said demonstration knowing that it was one of the necessary means to assert the electoral justice which finally came to fruition,” he said.
The CFT spokesperson further explained that Lunji’s remarks are a process of her gradual healing from the electoral defeat bruises that the DPP suffered.
“Secondly, such a call is exuding vendetta against our CIC for being instrumental in fighting DPP out. Hourable Mrs. Lunji is, by virtue of being a DPP member and official, certainly a victim of the change that Malawians successfully fought for. As admitted by the Leader of Opposition who is also a DPP official, this change has left a bitter-after-taste experience probably in the entire DPP family. But we must sincerely understand them because their healing would, in any case, not be instant. It will be, but a gradual process,” he said.
Before he entered politics in April 2020, Timothy Mtambo was the chairperson of the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC), a Malawi organisation that works to defend human rights.
He was also the executive director of the Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) as well as the vice chairperson of Southern African Human Rights Defenders Network.
He organised peaceful demonstrations across Malawi advocating for the preservation of civil and political rights in Malawi and called for the resignation of Malawi Electoral Commission Chairperson Jane Ansah over alleged mismanagement of national elections held on 21 May 2019.
His calls were vindicated by the Constitutional Court which on Feb. 3 ordered that the election be held again, ruling that the first results were not valid because of widespread evidence of irregularities and vote tampering in the polls held in May 2019.
The court struck down the victory of the then incumbent President Peter Mutharika citing evidence of voting fraud, including thousands of ballots that appeared to have been altered using typing correction fluid.
The ruling was upheld by the Malawi Supreme Court.
The court sanctioned election held on June 23 saw opposition candidate Lazarus Chakwera emerging a winner and it pleased him to appoint the freedom fighter Mtambo as Minister of Civic Education and National Unity owing to his prowess in interacting with the masses regardless of tribal and regional differences.