NICE vows to campaign against politicians who encourage violence

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National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) Trust in Chitipa has declared a move to campaign against politicians who will be using violence against rivals ahead of next year’s tripartite elections.

Disclosing this at the multiparty liaison meeting in the district held on Wednesday, District Civic Education Officer for NICE Amos Ngoma said his organisation will not tolerate any candidate aiming at frustrating other candidates by using abusive language as well as hooliganism, saying NICE will be there as well to frustrate such candidates once campaign period opens.

This UTM vehicle was torched hours before a political rally

“We want parties to exercise their right to campaign as we are heading towards next year’s general elections so that we must have free and fair elections in our district, any party doing vice-versa must fall come 2019. As NICE we will not just watch such malpractice from stands we will fight against them so that people should not vote for them,” Ngoma promised.

He further urged Traditional Authorities to be more vigilant to their Group Village Headmen so that they should not be partisan ahead of the coming general elections but support every political party coming to their areas with rallies.

Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) representative Abel Malumbira said as one way of refraining from violent during campaign period, authorities who authorise venues in the district must be mindful of distances when rival parties are supposed to hold their rallies within the same day.

“It is very likely when parties have been given close venues to each other within the same day to cause violent as they may collide each other with songs of insults when going as well as when coming back from their places where the rally was held. This should also be considered when authoring them venues to avoid violence.”  Malumbira urged.

On his part, District Commissioner for the district Michael Chimbalanga said it is his wish that come 2019 Chitipa will have free and fair elections, hence all the proper procedures are being undertaken so that the district should register good records in as far as electoral process is concerned beginning from campaign period, polling and counting stage.

Chimbalanga further highlighted that venues for rallies are given depending on which party was first to ask for permission to hold its rally at a venue of its choice without any favouritism but he admitted the need of taking into account the distance of where to permit another party to hold its rally same day with another one saying this indeed could a contributing factor to violence.

The meeting, was attended by Chiefs representatives, Members from Civil Society Organisations and District Elections Officer Representative just to mention a few. Representatives from different political parties did not show up for their own unknown reasons despite communication reaching them.

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