Phwetekere Ward aspiring councillor Rodrick Moses Chisale (Independent) attracted laughter from the public when he said his first priority will be to install piped water in graveyards under the ward to address water problems during funerals.
Chisale made the remarks during a public debate the National Initiative for Civic Education Trust (NICE) organised with funding from the European Union (EU) to give space to the contestants to articulate their manifestos ahead
of the 2019 tripartite elections.
He said the ward, which is under Lilongwe City West Constituency, does not have access to safe drinking water and that the situation gets even worse in times of bereavement.
“When there is a funeral, women from this ward walk long distances to fetch water for adzukulu (grave diggers). I promise you! This will be history if you elect me as your councillor. I will install piped water in all the graves to save our women this burden,” outlined Chisale.
Chisale, while keeping a tight lid on who would be responsible for bills and security of the pipes at the graveyards, emphasised that sanitation is key to healthy living; hence, his resolve to address water challenges from all the corners, including the graveyards.
And in an interview with Nyasa Times afterwards, the aspirant councillor said he will personally be paying the bills and employ guards to secure the pipes and meters.
“It’s very possible. Let them give me the vote; they will see for themselves,” he assured.
NICE district civic education officer (Lilongwe Urban), Hajira Ali, said the major objective of the public debate is to enhance interaction between the electorate and the contestants.
Ali further stated that the debates were hatched to promote issue-based campaign since the candidates are challenged to articulate what is contained in their manifestos instead of hate-speeches.
“I am particularly impressed that followers of different parties could interact and share experiences as their candidates articulated their manifestos. This is what NICE envisages; a Malawi for all despite our difference in political affiliations,” she said.