Paramount Chief Kyungu of Chitipa and Karonga district has cautioned the five Parliamentary candidates vying for the Karonga Central Constituency seat during the forthcoming by-election to avoid use of foul language and hate speech during campaign, saying culprits will be fined K0.5 million
Kyungu issued the warning on Thursday at the district’s Museum Amp Theater hall during the signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) aimed at binding aspirants to stick to issue based campaign so as to have peaceful, credible, fair and free elections.
In an interview after the historic event, the Paramount Chief said candidates should civic educate their supporters evils of using foul speech and songs that are provocative in nature.
Said Kyungu: “I urge you to stick to issue based campaign, never provide alcohol to the youth to incite violence and always follow procedures when booking venues for political party rallies to avoid clash of venues that might lead to violence.”
Kyungu further advised the candidates to cease the opportunity the by-election has provided to open a new chapter and erase the haunting name of Benghazi which he said dented the image of the lakeshore district and its people.
“We have set K500, 000 as a disciplinary fine to defaulters of the MoU. Therefore, abide by it, love and respect one another,” Kyungu said.
However, candidates while promising to dwell on issues that will promote peace and coexistence to enhance development, expressed different observations.
The MCP candidate Leonard Mwalwanda faulted politicians for failing to control their supporters and tame their tongues on political podiums that it has to take DCP and chiefs to control them through an MoU, adding: “peace and love are cheap and easy to follow and as leaders, we have to promote peace and love”.
UTM party candidate Frank Mwenifumbo, DPP aspirant Ernest Mwalughali, MMD’s Nellie Sichali and the independent candidate Florence Shackie Nthakomwa hailed electoral stakeholders for the initiative.
Karonga District Peace Committee chairperson Reverend Patricia Mzumara whose organisation and other CSO’s spearheaded the conflict analysis and the signing ceremony of the MoU hailed the political statesmanship displayed by all candidates, saying she was hopeful that they will walk the talk.
She said: “I am happy that after two attempts had hit a snag, today we have achieved our mission”.
On his part, Karonga District Commissioner who by default is the district’s elections coordinator described the signing ceremony as a step ahead towards peaceful by-election, saying Karonga needs prosperity.
“People need development. Therefore, focus on campaign that is characterised by ideas that will advance the will of Karonga. Avoid violence, misinformation and hate speech that destroy one another’s reputation,” Kalilombe said.
Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) will on November 10 conduct by-election in Karonga Central to fill the vacancy left by late Cornelius Mwalwanda (MCP) who passed away few months ago.