Malawi President ‘Inciting Violence,” Says Opposition

Posted March 13th, 2012 at 1:45 am (UTC-5)
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A senior opposition leader in Malawi is accusing President Bingu Wa Mutharika of inciting violence by urging his supporters to “aggressively” defend him from political attacks.

Earlier this month, President Mutharika said his supporters should “step in and defend their father” from insults by international donors and rights groups, which he accuses of stoking unrest.

But Humphrey Mvula, the vice president of the United Democratic Front, told VOA the president's comments were out of place, saying the president is to blame if the country is plunged into political instability.

“Just imagine, if the president is asking his supporters to defend him, assault other people, then what will happen to all other political leaders? And if we start saying we should be defended by our own supporters, is that not causing anarchy?”

President Mutharika has come under increasing pressure to resolve disputes with international donors, many of whom suspended aid to the southern African nation following a deadly crackdown on anti-government protesters in July.

The crisis has threatened to plunge Malawi into an economic crisis, as it relies on foreign aid for about 40 percent of its budget.