Candidates told to manage expectations, refrain from violence

Karonga district Multiparty Liaison Committee (MPLC) has challenged the aspiring candidates in the forthcoming Parliamentary by-election in Karonga Central Constituency not to live a pompous life and build castles in the air before winning the election to avoid disappointments and humiliations after the elections.

The call was made on Wednesday at Chiwondo Teachers Development Centre (TDC) Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD) facilitated to review the electoral calendar and iron out some differences noted during voter registration exercise and campaign currently underway in readiness for polls billed for November 10.

The call also comes against the background of allegations of registration of minors by the National Registration Bureau (NRB) to enable them register in the voter’s register for the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) and campaign that has so far been characterized by counter accusations by the two political party partners in Tonse Alliance government, UTM Party and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) supporters.

In his remarks, National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) Public Trust Regional Education Officer Vincent Kalawa said political violence, mudslinging and character assassination during campaign do not benefit anyone in society as electorates want to hear development agenda that would change their livelihood for the better.

Said Kalawa: “Candidates should avoid living in their own imaginary world. Candidates should not incite violence, candidates should dwell on issue based campaign and not use the youth to wreak havoc on their opponents. To challenge this, someday tell candidates who buy beer for the youth to incite violence to use their children incite violence, believe you me, they won’t do that”.

TA Kalonga-Calmed down the situation-Photograph by Jordan Simeon-Phiri

On his part, CMD executive director Kizito Tenthani, echoed Kalawa’s sentiments, saying campaign is like marketing well produced, processed and packaged products that if well marketed, clients will crumble for.

“Campaign is just like marketing goods and services to woo customers. Therefore, candidates and political party leaders should package their manifestos in an appetizing manner instead of wasting time on pity issues because at the end of the day, electorates will have to weigh candidates based on their facts because people want development,” Tenthani said.

However, the meeting could not end without drama as political party leaders traded barbs and it took Traditional Authority (TA) Kalonga to calm down the situation.

The bone of contention was when UTM Party candidate Frank Mwenifumbo asked the house to stop political parties that are in the Tonse Alliance off the campaign trail, arguing the agreement in the Alliance is not extended to Parliamentary campaign.

He claimed that some people are soiling his name during campaign rallies”.

This did not please the new AFORD entrant Bahat Kisyombe who used unprintable words to hit back at Mwenifumbo.

In an interview, District Commissioner who by default is the MPLC chairperson Paul Kalilombe appealed for calm and asked political party members to properly understand roles played by MEC and NRB in registering people and the code of conduct so that everything is done within electoral laws.

MCP district chairperson Emmanuel Nkhoma and UTM Party constituency governor Mavu Mwalwanda expressed satisfaction and promised to campaign peacefully.

 

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