A Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) aspiring parliamentarian for Balaka North constituency who is also the party’s district governor for Balaka has been accused of buying voter certificates from villagers.
A non-governmental organisation in the district has made the allegations against the aspirant Francis Berson Mangazuwa.
It has been unearthed that the shadow parliamentary in question who is also DPP district governor for Balaka has been going round the constituency especially at night, forcing people to surrender their voter registration cards to him where he records the voter number and goes away with the card in exchange for a party cloth and money amounting to K1,000.
In a press statement dated 2nd April, 2019, political commentator and social activist Griffin Maruwasa who also happens to be former director of political affairs at the Young Politicians Union explains that Mangazuwa has been conducting this illicit practice in areas such as Kachenga, Mbera, Mzimundilinde, Mwaye and Misu just to mention a few.
The development has since alarmed chiefs in the areas as they are surprised on the motives of the shadow legislator.
Maruwasa in the statement condemns the malpractice by the candidate in strongest terms saying that the vice has serious repercussions on the entire electoral process.
The press statement further emphasizes that it is a clear violation of the laws governing the electoral process for a candidate to conduct himself in such a manner.
“This practice is unlawful and unjust because it is taking advantage of a noble local voter and this is by all means corruption,” an extract from the statement reads.
The statements adds that offering bribes to the voters with the intention to influence decision is detrimental to the smooth running of any elections.
Maruwasa therefore reminds the candidate in question and all candidates at large that the country’s laws provide that an electoral right is a birthright for all citizenry, as such, it is a crime for a candidate to behave himself in a manner that is likely to influence voters’ decision.
A call has therefore been made to MEC, National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) trust, the Malawi Police Service and all relevant stakeholders to quickly intervene on the matter and that if found guilty, the perpetrator be brought to book without fear or favour or political power of the candidate.
The DPP aspirant couldn’t be reached for comment on several attempts.
The electoral body earlier advised all politicians and aspiring candidates to desist from conducting themselves in dirty campaigns but rather concentrate on issue based campaign.
The country goes to polls on 21 May, 2019 where councilors, members of parliament and president are expected to be elected.