As the May 21 tripartite elections approaches, some of the Member of Parliament aspirants for Neno South have complained that other Village Heads under senior Chief Symon are openly endorsing candidates and pressuring members of their communities to vote for candidate of their choice.
One of the complainants, Joe Manduwa, who is competing for the Member of Parliament position in the area said apart from endorsing candidates some chiefs in the area are even barring candidates from conducting their political meeting in their areas.
Manduwa said he was denied twice to conduct meetings to his followers in villages that are under G VH Symon.
“Just recently, I approached Village Head Nkundika that I would like to conduct a meeting with my followers in his area. He told me that it will not be possible because GVH Symon directed them that I am not allowed because campaign period is not due yet my fellow candidates are allowed to conduct their meetings in the same area,” Said Manduwa.
When asked if the allegations are true, GVH Symon admitted to have directed his village heads not to allow candidates to conduct political meetings in their respective areas but he denied that he is favoring other candidates.
Neno District Commissioner Rodrick Mateauma said his office has received a number of elections related complaints from Neno South and as a response to the complaints the council intend to hold a Multiparty Liaison Committee meeting specifically targeting Senior Chief Symon area where there are reports of chiefs denying other candidates from conducting their meetings.
Mateauma has advised chiefs in the area to uphold their unique position in their communities and stop engaging in partisan politics so that they should be able to work with their subjects regardless of their political affiliation.
Recently, in the same area a bus belonging to Mark Katsonga Phiri, who is also a candidate for the area was stoned at Matope Trading Centre where he went to launch a 5 million Kwacha Football and Netball trophies.