JB says won’t cheat on Malawi 2014 elections: ‘I will win fair and square’

Malawi’s President Joyce Banda has said she will not need to cheat to fight to get her mandate in next year’s elections, after  some opposition parties  and civil society activist charged the president with rigging tactics in order to stay in power.

Instead, the President assured all Malawians that her government will preside over one of most transparent and democratic elections in 2014 where all political parties taking part in the process will be contented with.

President Banda was speaking to thousands of jubilating ruling Peoples Party (PP) supporters that gathered at Ngolowindo model school in Traditional Authority Maganga’s area in central region’s resort district of Salima where the she addressed a political rally after earlier presiding over the commissioning of 140 officer cadets of the Malawi Defence Force.

There have been complains from the opposition MCP that the ruling PP  has been working on rigging strategy in “more sophisticated fashion” by preventing their  supporters in the central region from registering as voters.

President Banda hands over maize to a resident of Salima
President Banda hands over maize to a resident of Salima

But Banda dismissed such strategy and predicted an “outright result” in presidential race.

Inclusive electoral body

In a speech that lasted exactly one hour, the visibly confident JB, as the Malawi leader is popularly known, said she consulted all the country’s major political parties in coming up with names of candidates to be considered as commissioners for the electoral body.

“I could have chosen to appoint commissioners of my choice if I so wished, but being a true democrat as I am, I asked MCP, UDF and DPP to give names of people they feel are capable of representing them at MEC, and as I’m speaking all these major opposition parties have eyes and ears at the electoral body.

“I did this deliberately because I, for one, do not need rigging or manipulation of the polls results in order to stay in power. I have popular support behind me and come 2014 I’m very confident that me and my colleagues in the PP will get commanding majority,” said Banda amid ululations and standing ovation from the jam packed ground.

Some of the commissioners at Malawi’s electoral body that were nominated by the opposition parties include Nancy Tembo, Rev. Dr. Allan Chiphiko, Dr Wellington Nakanga, Elvy Ntafu and Anglican Church Archbishop emeritus Dr. Bernard Malango.

Hopes for landslide victory

Banda who has been under fire from the coalition of civil society organisations to step down and pave way for an interim government after graft revelations lifted the lid on corrupt government officials, including some ruling People’s Party officials, has been on record saying tackling corruption has come at a personal cost – she has received death threats and could potentially be made to carry the can for it when Malawi goes to elections next year.

“Smear campaigns will happen to me and it doesn’t matter. What is surprising me is the swelling of support in the rural areas lining up on the streets, cheering and congratulating me,” she said.

“So if I lose a little corner, it doesn’t matter. The whole nation seems to be rallying behind me and people are now leaving their parties to come and join our party.

“I might just win  by a landslide. Let’s wait and see,” Banda is on record saying.

Food- handouts

Meanwhile, the president also distributed 1000 bags of maize to hunger stricken families in the area of TA Maganga. Dr. Banda therefore reiterated her commitment to fight hunger and reduce poverty at household level.

She therefore promised the people of Salima that she would personally join other organization’s like World Food Programme (WFP)  in distributing maize to hunger stricken families across the country up until the month of March next year.

“I’m happy that reputable institutions like WFP have realized the need to bail out those affected by hunger especially in the rural areas. I personally would also be distributing my own maize which I have sourced with my own funds in order to share the little I have with the poor. I can’t allow my people to be dying of hunger yet I have the means to help them,” added President Banda.

Malawi is bracing itself for a fifth democratic election since the dawn of multiparty democracy in 1994 on May 20, 2014.

Crowds at Ngolowindo
Crowds at Ngolowindo
President Banda and her team: Upbeat of winning  landslide  in May 2014
President Banda and her team: Upbeat of winning landslide in May 2014

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