Karonga South constituency area development committee (ADC) and traditional leaders say time has come to vote for female candidates who have what it takes to develop the constituency.
This was said at an interface meeting that community leaders from the constituency called on Wednesday aimed at engaging all the female candidates in the constituency so that they unpack what is in their manifestos for the electorates.
Speaking on behalf of all community leaders, senior group village headman Mwaungulu of senior chief Wasambo, said as leaders they have an obligation of engaging all candidates and hear from them plans that they have for the people chiefs serve so as to avoid mistakes previous leaders have made before which is negligence of their duty.
“After several meetings with various institutions, asking for our support for female candidates, we thought it wise to ask Justice and Peace of Karonga diocese to at least organize a meeting with our female candidates and ask them why we should vote for them.
“We are glad that this has passed to come. After our interaction, the impression that they have painted is marvelous. As leaders, we are ready to support them because they have what it takes to develop Karonga south constituency,” Mwaungulu said.
Taking her turn, an independent shadow Member of Parliament for the area, Sangwani Nyirenda promised to use her vast experience in both community and health service to change the face of the constituency, saying health facilities, lack of potable water, school blocks, bridges and feeder roads in the area leave a lot to be desired.
“I have passion for this area and I feel sorry for the slow pace at which it is developing. It is unfortunate that up to date we do not have a college in this constituency let alone a boarding secondary school that could ease long distances girls walk to and from school.
“It is very sad that at Chilumba rural hospital, both male and female patients sleep in one ward. We cannot talk about safe motherhood if our mothers do not have waiting shelters and enough midwifery technicians in our clinics. We cannot develop when our rice farmers do not have passable roads and reliable markets to sell their produce. This is why I have decided to come here and work for my people,” Nyirenda said.
JP project officer Obert Mkandawire said his organization brought the candidates and community leaders together so that they could have a rare platform to discuss issues that are hampering the growth of the constituency.
“We will hold all candidates accountable once they win. Most candidates promise voters the moon during campaign and along the way fail to implement projects promised. We have documented all the discussions for future reference. All in all, we are happy that leaders asked questions based on previous experience and I am sure candidates have taken note of all concerns,” Mkandawire said.
The Malawi Electoral Cycle Support (MECS) is being funded by UN women. There are two female candidates who will battle it out with men for the Karonga central constituency while each Ward has one female Councilor candidate.