Tonse Alliance says it has sealed the Northern Region with its development focused manifesto and is targeting 95 percent of votes in the region.
Speaking in an interview after conducting 14 whistle stop tours in Karonga district on Monday and Tuesday, UTM Party regional fundraising chairperson Leonard Kiyombo said they have capitalised on lies that the DPP government has been peddling in the region over the years.
Kiyombo said he is optimistic that during the forthcoming fresh Presidential elections, the Tonse Alliance will amass 95 percent of the votes in the region.
Said Kiyombo: “The two-day crusade was a litmus test to the Alliance to see if people have embraced it fully. Based on the turn up, it has proven that people want change through Chakwera and Chilima.”
In another interview, Daniel Chitonya Mwanyongo of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) said time has come for farmers to migrate to commercial farming and start adding value to their produce to maximize profits.
Chitonya said it is a pity that in 2020, government is failing to set minimum prices for produce such as maize, rice, soya, tobacco and cotton to protect farmers from unscrupulous buyers who buy the produce at very low prices.
“Our economy is agro based that is why Tonse Alliance plans to reduce fertilizer to K4, 900 per bag to enable farmers to buy. Thereafter, the focus should be value addition to increase profits so that after toiling, they should lead a decent life,” Mwanyongo said.
However, DPP’s regional governor for the North Christopher Mzomera Ngwira brushed aside Tonse Alliance’s claim, saying if the Alliance meant what it is claiming, they could have channeled the money they are using to crisscross the country in the name of campaign to construct toilets in schools in the region.
“What the Alliance is claiming is not true. Our party is popular country wide and we will get some votes out of the 900 thousand votes in the region on top of about 3 million votes that we have in the Southern Region and win the elections. They have to know that this is not the first time to form an alliance as in 1999 elections, there was also a grand alliance but failed to win elections miserably,” Ngwira said.
A political commentator George Phiri said the current leadership is sorely to blame for not walking the development talk and as a result the Northern Region is the most duped region in terms of development and people have lost trust.
“I don’t think any reasonable person in the Northern Region can vote for the DPP as it has failed to fulfil a number of projects. Unfulfilled projects of Njakwa-Livingstonia, Rumphi-Nyika-Chitipa roads, Youth Centre and Mzuzu airport are projects that could have given them votes. It’s no secret that President Peter Mutharika has failed unlike his late brother Bingu wa Mutharika who constructed Nkhatabay district hospital, Karonga-Chitipa road, Mzuzu Reserve Bank and part of Jenda-Edingeni road. So, the Alliance seems the only hope for the region,” Phiri said.