Candidates commit to end political violence in Karonga Central

The five candidates in Karonga Central Constituency have reaffirmed their commitment to promote  amid  escalating political violence  cases ahead of the November 10 parliamentray  by-election.

Kalilombe: I cannot control who campaigns for who-Photo by Jordan Simeon-Phiri
MPCL members following the proceedings-Photo by Jordan Simeon-Phiri
Kalawa on his knees for Nthakomwa-Photo by Jordan Simeon-Phiri

The candidates made the pledge  on Saturday during the  the last multiparty liaison committee (MPLC) meeting at Chiwondo Teachers’ Development Centre (TDC) that sought to find long lasting solutions to attacks that have left both UTM party and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) supporters assaulted and injured.

UTM party and MCP candidates Frank Mwenifumbo and Leonard Mwalwanda, respectively promised to calm their supporters.

“UTM party is a peaceful entity and it is the only party that has condemned the recent political violence in the constituency because we subscribe to pillars of peace and coexistence upon which the UTM is founded,” said Mwenifumbo.

On his part,  MCP’s Mwalwanda said he has always preached peace throughout his campaign.

“MCP is not involved in any political violence. We are on the ground with issue-based campaign,” said Mwalwanda.

Karonga Police Station officer-in-charge Sam Nkhwazi said they have so far registered eight cases of political violence.

He said investigations are underway to bring to book those suspected to have been involved in the act.

The meeting could, however, not agree on a proposal by the UTM party regional governor for the north Dr. Moses Mlenga who suggested that the MCP’s director of youth who is also the Minister of Homeland Security Richard Chimwendo Banda should stop campaigning for the MCP candidate in the area, citing ‘conflict of interest’ as reasons behind the move.

In response, Karonga district MPLC chairperson Paul Kalilombe said that that call is beyond his jurisdiction, saying his office cannot bar anyone from campaigning for any candidate.

In his speech, National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) Public Trust regional civic and education officer Vincent Kalawa condemned the political tension, saying leaders who castigate others and promote usage of hate speech do not have room in a democracy.

Emotionally, Kalawa took his time to kneel down on his knees in apology to the independent candidate Shackie Mary Florence Nthakomwa for being insulted by the UTM Party supporter after the live radio political debate NICE organised last week in Karonga.

Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD) board chairperson Dr. Joseph Chidanti Malunga advised the five candidates to adhere to the code of conduct that guides the electoral calendar.

The MPLC meeting was jointly organised by CMD, NICE Public Trust and Justice and Peace of Karonga Diocese.

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