Statement by U.S. Ambassador Virginia Palmer on recent violence in Malawi.

The United States is concerned by incidents of political violence in the lead up to Malawi’s May 2019 elections. We call upon all political party leaders and citizens to commit to non-violence during the electoral process.

I applaud recent statements by political leaders decrying violence, including the targeting of women, and President Mutharika’s directive to the Malawi Police Service to prevent violence and bring those responsible for violence to justice.

Political violence damages the credibility of Malawi’s electoral process and undermines citizen confidence in the political system. We therefore call upon the Malawi Police Services to swiftly investigate and prosecute all acts of violence in a non-partisan manner.

We encourage the public to report any cases of violence to the police to ensure violence does not go unpunished. We encourage MPS senior leadership to support officers doing the hard work of maintaining peace in the communities and urge political leaders to remove those responsible for encouraging violence from positions of responsibility.

We stand with all Malawians in calling for a free, fair and violence-free election.