Candidates in Karonga’s ‘Benghazi’ told ‘don’t win elections before polling day’

National Initiative for Civic Education (Nice) Trust regional civic education officer (North) Nincent Kalawa  has challenged the aspiring candidates in the forth coming Parliamentary by-election in Karonga Central Constituency  to refrain from regarding themselves as winners before voting.

TA Kalonga: Calmed down the situation-Photograph by Jordan Simeon-Phiri
Kalilombe (C) moderating the meeting-Phot by Jordan Simeon-Phiri

The call was made on Wednesday at Chiwondo Teachers Development Centre (TDC) Centre during a Multiparty Liason Committeee (MPLC)  meeting facilitated by  Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD) to  discuss some challenges  noted during voter registration exercise and campaign currently underway in readiness for polls billed for November 10.

Among others, there have been  allegations of registration of minors by the National Registration Bureau (NRB) to enable them register in the voters register for the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC).

The campaign has so far been characterized by counter accusations by the two political party partners in Tonse Alliance government, UTM Party and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) supporters.

“Candidates should avoid living in their own imaginary world.  They should know victory can go either way. Besides, candidates should not incite violence,  but conduct an  issue-based campaign,” said Kalawa.

On his part, CMD executive director Kizito Tenthani, compared campaign with marketing well produced, processed and packaged products that if well marketed, clients will crumble for.

“ Therefore, candidates and political party leaders should package their manifestos in an appetizing manner instead of wasting time on pity issues because at the end of the day, electorates will weigh candidates based on what they say,” Tenthani said.

Ironically, towards the end of the meeting,  candidates traded barbs  such that it took Traditional Authority (TA) Kalonga to calm down the situation.

The borne of contention was when UTM Party candidate Frank Mwenifumbo accused some Tonse Alliance partners of drumming up support for some candidated, arguing the agreement in the Alliance is not extended to Parliamentary campaign.

This did not please Alliance for Democrcay (Aford) member Bahat Kisyombe who used unprintable words to hit back at Mwenifumbo.

Karonga  District Commissioner Paul Kalilombe,  who by  virtue of his position is the MPLC chairperson, appealed for peace and calm during campaign.

He asked political party members to properly understand roles played by MEC and NRB in registering people and the code of conduct so that everything is done within electoral laws.

MCP district chairperson Emmanuel Nkhoma and UTM Party constituency governor Mavu Mwalwanda expressed satisfaction and promised to campaign peacefully.

Nicknamed Benghazi after a time-honoured battlefield in Libya, the shoreline in Karonga has become a conflict zone since 2009 when Cornelius Mwalwanda Frank Mwenifumbo had their first-ever face-off in parliamentary poll.

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3 years ago

Karonga Central has had highly contested elections since 1994, however this by-election is made highly volatile by Green Mwanwonde joining Aford, and Aford allying with MCP. Sadly President Chakwera by condoning this happening is creating the environment fir distrust and bad blood between MCP and UTM. This will lead to the break up of Tonse which maybe is what MCP diehards want. Aford was free to field its own candidate but has chosen instead to be a spoiler because of the personal animosity between Frank Mwenifumbo and Aford’s leader Enoch Chihana.. this is immature and as unreasonable as it is… Read more »

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