Electorates of Karonga South constituency took the three shadow candidates who came for a political debate on Wednesday head on by warning them against against abandoning the electorates once voted into power in the May 21 polls.
Speaking at a public debate at Hangalawe TDC on Wednesday afternoon, James Munthali going by the old adage once beaten twice shy, posed a question, ‘Once elected, won’t you desert us to go to town and leave us with nowhere to go for our developmental needs’?
Independent aspirant Sangwani Nyirenda said once voted into power she will stay in the area with people for smooth facilitation of peoples’ needs in terms of development.
“Once you vote me into power, I promise not to abandon you and trek to town because this is where my office will be. This is where I will be meeting development and community leaders to discuss your developmental needs,” Nyirenda said.
On her part, UTM shadow candidate Jessie Lulu Ndovie also assured the gathering that Chilumba is her home as such she would be operating from the constituency while initiating various developments for the electorates.
Adding his voice was the MCP’s shadow candidate Uchizi Mkandawire who also shared the same sentiments, saying every development conscious leader does not stay away from his people as doing so would deny voters social amenities such as portable water, feeder roads and school blocks.
“In short, this is my home so I will be with you right here talking development so that at the end of five years our constituency should wear a new face,” Mkandawire said.
NICE Trust Karonga district civic education officer Christobel Munthali hailed the active participation of both traditional leaders and electorates, saying questions asked at the debate showed that people appreciated the importance of conducting political debates ahead of the elections.
Her counterpart who is JP project coordinator Vincent Bwinga said the debates did not only provide a rare opportunity for voters to interact with shadow candidates but it was also time for candidates to outshine each other in marketing their manifestos to voters.
“We put our resources together so that we empower the community to meet face to face with their candidates and ask them questions that they feel will help them identify the most capable candidate who will articulate issues in Parliament and uphold transparency and accountability when implementing development funded projects,” Bwinga said.
The debate which was the last in a series of 10 Wards and five constituencies in Karonga was conducted by NICE Public Trust in partnership with FOCUS and JP of Karonga diocese.