Political violence in Mangochi as by-elections loom

A United Democratic Front (UDF) supporter in Mangochi North-East Constituency has been assaulted by supporters of a parliamentary candidate as the campaign hots up in preparation for the November 10 parliamentary by -elections.

Lemani Makwinja from Mtamila Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Mponda said he was beaten up by some supporters who he believed were sent by an Independent candidate, Martin Sekati Nyengo, for his choice of supporting UDF candidate, Idi Kalosi.

In an interview, Makwinja while looking disturbed, complained that on Wednesday afternoon while he was on his way home, he met some supporters of Nyengo at Piyasi Village in the area who he said attacked him for being a supporter of Kalosi.

“I was attacked by my fellow village mates for not supporting their candidate. They said I am stubborn and I influence a lot of people to support Kalosi instead of Nyengo,” he explained.

Makwinja said after the assailants beat him up, they warned him that they will keep on monitoring him, and also threatened to deal with him if he continues supporting Kalosi.

“The attackers injured my right hand side and went away with my mobile phone (Nokia 1200) and some cash amounting to K1,000. They also warned me to stop supporting my candidate,” he revealed.

Makwinja, however, noted that there is no tolerance in the constituency among supporters and this causes some innocent people like him to suffer.

“Some people here don’t believe that we’re in multiparty and we have a freedom of association. This is very bad. We cannot belong to one candidate because everyone has his choice,” he schooled.

When asked, Nyengo denied the allegations, saying there is no any other way he can send his supporters to cause havoc to his opponents because he practices civilized politics and believes in democracy.

“I practice civilised politics. I can’t sink so low to sponsor my supporters to wreck-havoc. If anything, I am the one to make complaints because supporters of Kalosi are causing chaos in the constituencies,” he challenged.

Nyengo while saying he has lodged complaints to police several times about Kalosi’s ill conduct wondered why supporters of Kalosi want to practice politics of mudslinging instead of smart politics.

However, when put to him, Kalosi laughed off the allegations, saying the incident of Makwinja tells it all.

Mangochi Police Station Deputy publicist, Amina Tepani Daudi, confirmed that the police have received a report about the incident but she was quick to say that the men in uniform are still investigating the matter.

Meanwhile, one of the country’s renowned political commentator, Humphrey Mvula has condemned the violence, saying it signifies minimum civic education among the voters.

He has called on Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) and other electoral stakeholders to swiftly delve into the matter if the area is hold free, fair and credible elections.

Mangochi North-East Constituency fell vacant on June 8 this year when the High Court nullified the May 19 2019 elections results after Nyengo sought court relief due to the dissatisfaction of elections results that declared Kalosi as a winner.

 

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