LILONGWE, June 8 (Xinhua) -- The Malawian government said it is shocked with the allegations made by the African Union Southern Africa Regional Office (AU-SARO) that the country's police used extensive force against its citizens in the post electoral period.
Following the clash that Malawian police had with Malawian congress party protestors in Lilongwe on Thursday where the police used teargas and rubber bullets to control the situation, the AU-SARO faulted the Malawi government and condemned the act.
The AU-SARO, through a statement released Thursday, cautioned the Malawian government by saying the act could subsequently provoke uncontrollable situations in a delicate region context and complicate all political and diplomatic efforts.
But the Malawian government on Saturday brushed aside the AU-SARO concerns, saying the Malawian police service continued to exercise maximum restraint in discharging their duties.
In a press release issued Saturday through the country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Internal Cooperation, the Malawian government appealed to the AU-SARO to follow normal diplomatic channels when engaging the Republic of Malawi.
"Government wishes to reaffirm its open door policy and willingness to engage with all stakeholders in the post election period; however, the government of Malawi is appalled that the AU-SARO has resorted to engage the media on such matters of national interest," the statement read.
It further said: "The government of Malawi wishes to reiterate that it is committed to rule of law and will ensure that peace and security is maintained in the country, more so during the post election period."
Since the Malawi Electoral Commission declared Peter Mutharika the winner in the May 21 presidential elections, there have been running battles between the Malawi police and supporters of the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP), whose leader Lazarus Chakwera is challenging the results in court.