Karonga chiefs speaks tough on political violence, seeks CHRR intervention

As Malawi gears up for 2014 Tripartite elections, traditional leaders in Karonga district have come out very strong against political violence in the district, in the process calling upon CHRR and other Non-governmental organizations working in the district to intervene in order to ensure a free and fair 2014 elections.

These calls come against a series of political violence that had of late marred the district with notable one being those involving Dr Cornelius Mwalwanda and Frank Mwenefumbo factions in Karonga central
constituency.

The two camps are however reportedly said to have agreed to put the matter to rest.

Speaking at a highly-levelled meeting held at Karonga district council chamber organized by Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) on Tuesday with the objective of orienting various political parties, traditional leaders and members of the district executive committee on their newly-to-be implemented Civic and Voter Education Project courtesy of DFID and NDI, Paramount Chief Kyungu senior representative Mboma expressed total dismay over the political violence that have characterized the district in the recent past.

Chiefs from rght: Karonga, Mwilang''ombe and Mwakaboko

Chiefs from rght: Karonga, Mwilang”ombe and Mwakaboko

“The Paramount sent me to raise the concern over the growing trends of political violence in the district and call upon CHRR and other Non Governmental Organisations to assist the traditional leaders and government in combating such practices”

The Paramount’s representative further faulted the politicians tendency in the district of ferrying crowds of supporters from other areas to their constituencies when holding political rallies arguing that such practices fuel violence in the district.

“The Paramount is of the view that this practice of taking people from other areas to the constituent places where rallies are held is a bad practice as apart from putting those political supporters at risk of accidents due to overcrowding,  as well as being costly to the part of parliamentary hopefuls , it perpetuates violence.”

Wonders Mboma, “Why should one get  supporters from other constituencies to bring them to his or her rally as if there are no people in his or her constituency. CHRR must help in putting this to an end”.

In their contributions, TA Mwilang’ombe, TA Mwakaboko and Senior Chief Karonga  concurred with Paramount Kyungu’s representative on the dire need for CHRR to play an active role in monitoring the situation on the ground as we approach the elections.

Said Senior Chief Karonga, “I am glad that CHRR has chosen Karonga central as one of their targeted areas to provide civic and voter education considering the great need  that is in this area following the recent political violence. As traditional leaders we believe you can help a lot in addressing the concerns relating to political violence as raised by Paramount’s representative.”

Reacting to the above plea and concerns, CHRR’s Information and Communications Officer Luke Tembo welcomed such observations and pledged that CHRR would definitely try to address those concerns through civic and voter education as well as other plausible means available as long as they augur well with MEC’s code of conduct for
all accredited Civic and Education Providers.

Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation is one of the institutions that have been accredited by Malawi Electoral Commission [MEC] to carryout civic and voter education  across the country in readiness of forthcoming Tripartite Elections.

Apart from Karonga district with Karonga South and Karonga Central as its specific target areas in this
campaign, CHRR is also providing Civic and Voter Education in Dedza [Dedza South and Dedza South West] and Mangochi [ Mangochi Central and Mangochi Monke Bay].

This Karonga orientation meeting was staged in order to enable the district stakeholders to understand the project,
endorse it and collaborate with CHRR’s officers and volunteers during implementation.

At the end of the meeting, all stakeholders endorsed the project and pledged their undivided support in its implementation.

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