MCP, DPP supporters fight at debate

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Violence erupted between Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) supporters in Nsanje South Constituency on Tuesday forcing NICE Trust to postpone a debate.

The supporters mainly for Francis Kasaila of DPP and Kafandikhale Mandevana of MCP failed to come to terms as they were drunk and kept rising up and dancing in praising their candidates without following protocols.

Mandevana (in Jacket) and Ksaila (in DPP regalia) at the debate

In an interview, the organizers described the situation as unfortunate as it failed to strengthen pillars of democracy by showing tolerance and respecting right to choice to prevail.

“It is bad, and shameful that up to date we cannot accept that people have right to choose who they want to support, it is their democratic right and I condemn the acts of violence that supporters from both sides have shown, ” said Malunga.

He said despite the fracas, NICE Trust managed to civic educate people who were present how to vote on polling day by demonstrating how it would be done.

In several interviews, members of the audience gathered at the debate session blamed parties for failing to control their support who failed to tolerate one another and in the end caused violence.

“I think the politicians had planned all this before, and they knew the debate would not be possible, we saw how MCP supporters behaved when they had just arrived at the scene and how the DPP came in their party regalia on, I think that could be avoided by party leaders,” observed Beatrice Mission who was part of the audience.

Poice try to maintain peace and order

At the gathering, Kafandikhale Mandevana (MCP) and Francis Kasaila (DPP) were asked to speak to their people to stop making noise and disturbing the progress of proceedings but the advice fell on deaf ears.

When the tempers were high between the parties and stoning started, Kasaila stealthily slipped through the mad supporters while Mandevana was whisked away safely.

Four police officers that were hired to offer security were overwhelmed to manage the crowd to order.

Governors for all political parties have since condemned the violence acts and have called upon party followers and their leaders to desist from hate songs and acts that would anger their political opponents.

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