Having advocated for peaceful and violence free elections in Karonga district, electoral stakeholders have expressed gratitude to the people and politicians for conducting themselves in an orderly and lawful manner before, during and after elections.
Speaking in an interview, Paramount Chief Kyungu of Chitipa and Karonga who before elections had been up and down preaching peace, said he was more than happy to see people casting their votes peacefully and subsequently accepting elections results.
“I thank God for the peaceful elections that at district level have been accepted by all. It is not a mean achievement at all. Peace is not the absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.
“After what happened during the 2014 elections where innocent people lost their valuable property, I decided to use various platforms to engage people to avoid political violence in the May 21 tripartite elections as violence has room to destabilize various businesses and may bring discomfort to people,” Kyungu said.
Adding his voice is the district’s peace committee secretary Aaron Mwenilupembe who said their awareness campaign efforts on dangers of inciting political violence have yielded good results, saying youths were never used to incite violence.
Mwenilupembe further said as a committee, they were impressed with the response as they anticipated to reduce political tension in the district by 15 percent but ended up surpassing the target as no any political violent activity was recorded before, during and after elections,” Mwenilupembe said.
In a separate interview, chairperson for Karonga district pastor’s fraternal (KDPF) bishop Benson Chikapa said as men and women of God, they fasted, conducted prayers and met politicians to encourage them to campaign peacefully and accept election results for the sake of peace.
True to that, all Parliamentary and Local Government candidates who contested in the May Tripartite Polls conceded defeat and moved on.
Notable casualties include Karonga Central constituency former AFORD Legislator Frank Tumpale Mwenifumbo who lost to Dr. Cornelius Mwalwanda of MCP, UTM party’s Vincent Ghambi in Karonga North and Luwani Msowoya who is daughter to former Speaker of Parliament.