National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) Trust has advised female aspirants to desist from habits of pulling each other down saying it will defeat the spirit of 50-50 Campaign and the desired change may not be achieved.
Nice Trust’s Civic Education Officer in Nsanje district Kondwani Malunga said this on Tuesday at Bangula where Youth Coalition for the Consolidation of Democracy, a 50-50 campaign implementing agency in Nsanje, was training female aspirants on manifesto development.
“If you start quarrelling amongst yourself, which is not healthy, you would fall prey to your male counterparts because they will use your weaknesses to strengthen themselves and consequently you lose the fight to lead and also the trust of the people.
“We found out that there were gaps in the way the aspirants were articulating their manifestos and we felt it was important to assist the women to develop manifestos that would motivate people in the community to vote for them,” said Malunga.
Malunga added that it was positive that the aspirants realised that there were inefficiencies on their manifestos and advised the aspirants to caution their supporters so that they behave to avoid violence which may render the exercise not credible.
The training also worked on how local development and Constituency development funds are managed so that they know and follow rules and guidelines that are used at constituency and council level to manage respond to question on how they will execute their duties.
Eurita Ntiza, an independent aspirant for Nsanje South West (SW) said the community has positive attitude towards women courtesy of awareness campaigns, however she noted that among themselves there is a tendency of lack of tolerance.
“I have large support from the constituency but I would love that YCD do their programs in accordance to their plans and not be induced by other aspirants and that women work together towards common goal,” said Ntiza.
On her part, Helen Buluma, DPP aspirant for SW constituency said women are having difficulties to be competitive and at the same time to realise the main target of 50-50 campaign hence they start attacking each other verbally at rallies.
“I ask the communities that they vote for a woman who is able to extrapolate their manifestos and not those that are in town castigating and shaming their friends just to win cheap popularity, we all want a woman succeed regardless of party leanings,” said Buluma.
She said while attitudes and beliefs take long to be wiped, she asked the community to take away such beliefs that women are not able and give them a chance.
Speaking on behalf of women, Rose Makiyi of Kalulu ward in Nsanje North constituency thanked YCD for spearheading the campaign in the district and asked women who do not see each other eye to eye to co-exist for the sake of the respective areas.
The women were trained on how Local and Constituency Development Funds are sourced and managed, Political Party Law and role of MPs and councillors so that they are able to give their manifestos in a manner that will convince the electorate.
NICE and YCD are working together to make sure women take leading positions in form of Member of Parliament or councillors.