The National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) In Phalombe districts has warned all registered voters to distance themselves from politicians who use voters to cause violence during the campaign period.
In an interview, NICE District Civil Education Officer (DCEO) for Phalombe, James Chimpeni said that the warning comes after NICE has noted that in the previous campaign period voters were used to start violence or block other candidates when conducting meetings.
“As NICE we have seen from the previous years on how voters have been used to start violence during the campaign period. Communities should be fully aware that during political rallies they should not be involved in causing violence or undermine the aspiring candidates.”
Chimpeni encouraged the communities in Phalombe to follow the code of conduct and the electoral role so that come 21st May, Malawi should have free and fair elections.
“All registered voters should exercise their right to vote on 21st May for them to choose the right leaders. Voters should attend all party meetings happening in their areas.”
According to Chimpeni, in this period while the voting period is closer, traditional leaders plays a greater role in giving a chance to different political leaders to go and conduct political rallies in their areas. Therefore chiefs are advised not to be biased or take part.
“Chiefs are the stakeholders for the campaigns to be held in the communities. As leaders they should follow the code of conduct and give equal chance to each and every candidate who wants to conduct political meetings in their areas.”
He added that some political leaders use chiefs to block other candidates from conducting meetings, something which he said is unacceptable.
NICE has outlined a number of programs in making sure that each and every registered voter should attend all political meetings and hear the views or issues brought by the candidates.
“It is very important for every voter to attend all political rallies because this will help them to make a right choice when casting their votes come 21st May.”