Chairperson of the Council for Non Governmental Organisations in Malawi (Congoma), Steve Duwa, has described the campaign period for the May 21 Tripartite Elections as the dirtiest in the history of the country’s democratic elections, saying aspirants are orchestrating the worst verbal attacks and false accusations against each other.
Duwa, who is also Chairperson of Malawi Electoral Support Network (Mesn), spoke Thursday in the Capital Lilongwe at a Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) review meeting for the much awaited and highly contested polls.
Congoma and Mesn jointly organised the meeting with the aim of consolidating various stakeholders efforts in promoting peace during and after the elections.
“The campaign leaves a lot to be desired. Aspirants are busy hurling insults at each other, lowering the morale of the voters who are not being inspired at all. The electorate want to hear the development plans for their country,” observed Duwa.
He added: “The aspirants also continue making unfounded rigging allegations, creating and spreading fake news and false accusations against each other. This has the potential to discourage people from participating in the elections and negatively affect the outcome of the polls”.
The Congoma and Mesn chairperson said it is for this reason that the Lilongwe meeting was organised to enable stakeholders combine strategies for dealing with challenges such as these in order to make Tuesday’s elections free, fair and credible.
The meeting brought together a number of CSOs and electoral stakeholders including officials from the Malawi Electoral Commission and Malawi Police Service.
All of them have committed themselves to playing their rightful roles dutifully.
According to Duwa, Mesn has already its observers on the ground, who, he said, are alert enough to report any mischiefs that would threaten the peace during and after the elections.
In his remarks, Director of Research, Planning and Reforms at National Police headquarters, Senior Deputy Commissioner of Police Stan Kaliza, said the police is ready to ensure peace throughout the election period.
“We will deploy our policemen and officers everywhere to deal with any violations of peace and protect MEC officials, polling staff and all observers so that the outcome of the election satisfies everyone,” he said.
In Tuesday’s elections, the sixth since Malawi adopted multiparty democracy 25 years ago, the citizens are expected to elect a president, Members of Parliament and councillors.
Apparently, the campaign period ends in about two days time.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :