By Temwa Mhone
Religious leaders in Mulanje have been advised to use their influence wisely to advance free, fair and credible election in the district.
Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) director for media and public relations, Sangwani Mwafulirwa, said this on Monday at Mulanje District Council Hall during an orientation meeting with the religious leaders on their roles during the Chitakale Ward by-election slated for March 30 2021.
With campaign period expected to end at 6am on Sunday, March 28 2021, Mwafulirwa said the leaders should guard their pulpits from candidates who might want to canvass for votes during the services.
“On this day, make sure no one uses the platform to campaign because it will be against the laws. Even you (religious leaders) should not give sermons that lead or influence congregations to vote for any candidate. One of your roles is to encourage the gatherings to exercise their right to vote not whom to vote for,” said Mwafulirwa.
He even cautions prophets to give revelations about the winning candidate wisely to avoid inciting violence and endorsing anyone.
In an interview, Lauderdale CCAP Church moderator, Reverend Charles Kumbani, said they will just popularise the event among the members.
“We will encourage eligible and registered voters to get manifestos from all candidates for them to make an informed decision come March 30 2021,” he said.
The commission will hold the election to fill a vacant position of the ward’s councillor following the death of Owen Kampira in January 2021.
The candidates are Aaron Chitsulo, Richard Mulingano and Foster Phiri representing Malawi Congress Party (MCP), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and UTM Party respectively.