President Lazarus Chakwera has said the political violence in the run up to the November 10, 2020 by-elections un Karonga Central, perpetrated by some members of his Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM Party of Vice-President Saulos Chilima, was “unacceptable” and “a disgrace” to the Tonse Alliance government.
Speaking on Tuesday at Karonga Community Ground when he presided over the ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of 10 000 staff houses for security institutions across the country at Ipiyana in Karonga District.
“That these incidents took place at all in an era of democratic freedom is unacceptable, but that they perpetrated by fellow members of the Tonse Alliance against each other is a disgrace,” said Chakwera.
The President said everyone is free to support and campaign for any party and candidate they like in an election.
“To intimidate to assault anyone for exercising that constitutional right is travesty,” he said.
The winner of the by-election Leonard Mwalwanda of MCP was introduced to Chakwera at the ceremony while his rival Frank Tumpale Mwenifumbo of UTM also attended.
Speaking about the housing project, Chakwera has said the country’s men in uniform deserve decent and durable accommodation for them to maintain peace and order professionally.
“The men in uniform workday and night to maintain peace and order in the country. But for many years, their work has not been recognised and even their welfare is always compromised.
“These are the people who put their lives and those of their families at risk because of the nature of their job.
“But for so long, we have not taken care of their welfare. We want that tendency to be a thing of the past,” said Chakwera.
He then called on the people in the country to appreciate and support the role played by security institutions for order to prevail in the country.
The President then warned the project’s contractors against corruption such as selling building materials, saying such behaviour leads to sub-standard work.
In his remarks, Minister of Lands and Housing, Kezzie Muskwa, said the construction of staff houses for security institutions is part of a lager housing program that government is geared to undertake to address shortage of houses in the country.
“This country is facing acute shortage of decent and permanent houses, not only in rural areas, but even in urban centres.
“The 2008 Population and Housing Census showed that only 21 per cent of the country’s housing stock comprised permanent houses while 34 per cent were semi-permanent.
“This means that the majority of Malawians have limited access to structurally stable and durable houses,” he said.
Msukwa disclosed that construction of the houses will be in phases across the country and that 1,000 will be completed in the first phase.
Malawi Defence Force and Malawi Police Service will get 4000 houses each while Malawi Prison Service and the Department of Immigration will have 1000 houses each.
The project will see 157 houses constructed at Ipyana for police, immigration and prison.
Later, the President also visited a site for the project on the extension of North Rukuru Dyke that will be implemented by the Malawi Defence Force in three months to the tune of K346 million.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :