Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Gerald Viola aspirant Chikwawa South Constituency says he will utilise the newly passed Political Parties Act to campaign for his candidature in Chikwawa South Constituency.
Speaking week when he launched his Campaign at Mphonde football ground in group village head man Mphonde in the area of traditional authority (T/A) Ngabu in Chikwawa, Viola said the act has given equal footage for all candidates to campaign unlike in the past when candidates who were not giving handouts were being disadvantaged.
His sentiments come amid reports that some candidates continue giving money during performances at political rallies. The electorates are also yet to get used to vote for a candidate not because they have been giving out money but based on policies.
“What used to happen in the past was that the electorates were being turned into beggars. I have taken up the challenge of civic educating them that they don’t need to be beggars to their leaders. I will make sure that I shall empower the people of this constituency economically once I become the MP for this area. Time for electorates to cue for money at a Member of Parliament’s house has gone.
“I want to applaud government for coming up with this law because now the competition is going to be based on development agendas and I challenge my competitors that we face each other on the ground with our development agendas,” Viola said.
Section 41(1) of the Political Parties Act prohibits candidates or political parties contesting in an election from issuing hand outs during campaign and failure to adhere to the law attracts a penalty of 10 million kwacha fine or a five years jail sentence.
But when asked if the candidates are to abide by the law during this campaign period, political analyst Rafik Hajat said the implementation of the law requires enough voter civic education to the electorates and hence it may take a long time if the law is to be fully implemented.
However, the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) continues to warn candidates that it shall take necessary measures to all candidates that shall be giving handouts during campaign rallies.
In his campaign, Viola is advancing a change in what he called politics of slavery where electorates get used to hand outs from their leaders. Viola said he intends to promote politics of independence where electorates are empowered economically.
Among other development projects, Viola said he intends to make sure that the constituency has a government hospital, conventional secondary school and good roads which he said previous leaders failed to implement.
Viola is competing against the deputy director of research in the main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Elias Karim and several independent candidates.
Elijah Phompho, MEC Stringer, Chikwawa