Ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials have come under commentators fire over their remarks that voters should vote for DPP candidates in the October 17 by-elections if they want development , saying it is anti-democratic.
Commentators have pointed out that development is a human right for all citizens and that Malawi Constitution enshrines in Section 30 that the State has a responsibility to respect the right to development and to justify its policies in accordance with this responsibility.
During a campaign rally in Lilongwe Mszoi North Constituency on Wednesday ahead of the Tuesday’s by-elections, President Peter Mutharika asked people to vote for DPP candidate Bruno Daka as that would help transform the area in terms of development..
“I will inform Admarc to open another market within next wee… We will construct girls’ hostels, a police unit, roads and many more development programmes will come in this area. But first, vote Bruno Daka of DPP as your MP,” campaigned Mutharika.
The President said plans are underway to upgrade roads in the constituency including the Nayele-Chadza road which would be bituminized.
DPP Vice President for the Central Region, Dr Hetherwick Ntaba also stressed that Lilongwe Msozi North Constituency will only see meaningful development if the people elect DPP candidate.
Mzuzu-based socio-political commendator Emily Mkamanga said remarks by President Mutharika and Ntaba were “manipulation of people” which is unacceptable in a democracy.
Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) is holding parliamentary by-elections October 17 in Nsanje Lalanje, Lilongwe South East and Lilongwe Msozi North constituencies.
In Nsanje Lalanje and Lilongwe Msozi North the by-elections are being held following the death of former parliamentarians Sam Ganda of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Highton Jiya (Malawi Congress Party-MCP) respectively. In Lilongwe South East, the by-elections are as a result of the Supreme Court of Appeal order to have a re-run after nullifying the 2014 outcome.