The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has appealed to the Malawi Police service (MPS) and religious leaders to work in conjunction with the commission in order to achieve a successful and peaceful re-run for the parliamentary elections slated for the 29th June 2021 in Nkhata-Bay.
The commission conducted an interface with the electoral stakeholders on Tuesday 25th May, 2021 at traditional Authority (T/A) Mkumbira resource centre hall in Nkhata-Bay central constituency.
The MEC commissioner Dr Anthony Mkumbwa who presided over the meeting as the guest of honour said the initiative was meant to safeguard free and fair by-elections anticipated in Nkhata-Bay as part of the core obligation the commission.
Dr Mkumbwa emphasized on the prospect saying it was of great essence to perpetuate the agenda as both the Police service and the religious leaders play a pivotal role in influencing the masses in the community.
“Religious leaders and the police assume a significant responsibility in our various communities they operate from, hence we are pleading with them that they should disseminate messages that will foster peace and harmony among their subordinates,” said Mkumbwa.
He further explained: “Religious leaders have a crucial role to play as the candidates and the electorate originate within their communities, thus both Muslims and Christians have to be highly influenced by the clergy in a positive way to promote peace and harmony in this period.”
Emphasizing on the matter, the district public affairs committee chairperson –PAC for Nkhata-Bay Bishop David Mkandawire of Evangelical church of Malawi (ECM) described the initiative to be of great relevance as it will strengthen the possibilities of achieving success during the elections.
He said: “This will assist us to enlighten our followers to vote wisely during the polling day and to be able to achieve their best results through the promotion of peace, because as the leaders, we will be proving them with the possible rightful information.”
Taking his part, the assistant commissioner of police and the officer in charge for the Nkhata-Bay Police station (OC) Morgan Zonzi said they have already started mobilizing services on the ground to attain tangible results in the communities.
“We are making public awareness campaigns through the community radio programs by preaching messages of peace and stability, we are also appealing to those who are contesting to avoid politics of castigation which sparks hatred and conflict. We are looking forward to a peaceful campaign,” he said.
Meanwhile, MEC has since inaugurated the June 29th 2021 campaign period for the parliamentary by-elections on 24th May to 27th June this year following the nullification of the 2019 results.