Women’s rights activists in Mzuzu are investigating cases where some male politicians from ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) are allegedly sending death threats to some female aspirants in the City.
The development is taking place at a time when the country and the international community is commemorating 16 Days of Activism Against gender- based violence, as part of the international Campaign to challenge violence against women and girls.
Maggie Mwanza, a businesswoman aspiring to become Member of Parliament for Mzuzu City Constituency on the ruling Democratic Progressive Party ticket, complained that after refusing to link her to party members, intimidating her, and forcing her to pay Mk 50, 000 without explanation, the DPP Regional Governor in the North Kenneth Sanga also sent a gang to threaten her at her house.
“I am not going to fear Mr Sanga. I will compete against him in the primaries. Some people told me to draw back but I refused. One day there was a gang of three people that were sent to my house to attack me but I told them that I will not fear the one who has sent you. When a person joins politics, you are ready to die.
“I do not want any violence, as a woman, I just want to be given a chance to contest in line with the 50:50 campaign and with democracy in the DPP. I am also a DPP Member and Mr Sanga should just give me some campaign materials too,” said Mwanza.
When contacted for comment, Sanga explained that he could not immediately respond to the any issue as he was attending the funeral of the late Paramount Chief Chikulamayembe at Bolero in Rumphi.
Speaking in an interview, Deputy Director for Mbawemi Women, one of the Organizations in Mzuzu that is implementing the 50:50 Campaign for more women in leadership, Dorothy Chiumia, confirmed receiving reports of threats from Mwanza and other women aspirants.
Chiumia said that Mwanza reported to Mbawemi that Sanga had made threats on her life apart from asking her to not contest for the Mzuzu City MP seat in the DPP primaries.
“One female shadow MP reported that the man had threatened her. She came to our Office and explained this, we wrote a letter to the Gender 50: 50 Campaign in Lilongwe, we called our network and others and we will meet to discuss possibly tomorrow before we call the man,” said Chiumia.
According to Chiumia, Mbawemi will also discuss reports from another aspiring woman councillor from Chibanja Constituency who claims that a male aspirant from Malawi Congress Party (MCP) in Chibanja had threatened to do a “blood campaign” against her if she went ahead to contest on the MCP ticket for Councillor.
But speaking for the MCP, the party’s District Youth Chairperson Franklin Hara explained that MCP at the District level, had not received any complaints from their shadow Councillor in Chibanja.
Malawi launched the 16 Days of activism against Gender-Based Violence on 25 November, 2018 to be commemorated under the theme ‘ End Gender Based Violence in the World of Work.’