Malawi government spokesperson, who is also minister of Information and Communications Technology Nicholas Dausi has denied reports that chiefs are facing intimidation, threats and harassment by government and ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) senior officials ahead of the October 17 by elections.
Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has been complaining that chiefs are being intimidated to facilitate electoral fraud for DPP in the byelections.
The chiefs have also revealed that in Lilongwe Msozi North, DPP vice president (central region) Hetherwick Ntaba is intimidating them to mobilise their subjects to vote for a ‘DPP candidate’ or else be fired after the by-elections if the ruling party loses.
The situation is the same in in NsanjeLalanje constituency where on Friday during a political debate for the parliamentary aspirants organised by the National Initiative for Civic Education (Nice) Trust at Bangula Primary School ground in the district, the matter was revealed.
Some participants during the debate revealed that there were certain chiefs who were instructing their subjects to vote for a DPP candidate.
But government spokesman Dausi described the allegations as incorrect and misleading.
“I can state with full certainty that there is no intimidation. Those reports are unfortunate and incorrect,” said Dausi.
“The truth is that every person is free to campaign and choose whoever they want. That is the democracy Malawi embraced, and we are encouraging it,” said Dausi.
He said the allegations are “mere hallucinations” by MCP because they fear defeat.
Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah, who was present at the event, said the commission has not received any complaint regarding the issue, saying they deal with complaints “ when they have been lodged.”
Nice Trust has since condemned the reports, saying the development was not in tandem with democratic principles and values.
“In a democratic society, people are free to participate in the electoral process peacefully, without any fear and intimidation until they vote for a candidate of their choice.
“We urge traditional leaders who are doing that to stop as that violates the right of people to choose a candidate of their choice. We also ask the electorate to report such cases to relevant authorities, even informing Nice, as it is a recipe for violence,” said Kondwani Malunga, Nice Trust civic education officer for Nsanje.
The parliamentary by-elections will be held in: Lilongwe Msozi North Constituency, Lilongwe City South East Constituency and Nsanje Lalanje Constituency while the local council by-elections will be held in Mayani North Ward in Dedza North Constituency, Mtsiliza Ward in Lilongwe City West Constituency and Ndirande Makata Ward in Blantyre Malabada Constituency.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :