Former cabinet minister and legislator who is seeking to be voted again for Blantyre Kabula, Samuel Kaphuka, on Tuesday deliberately stopped the campaign minibus he was driving just to annoyingly disturb a whistle stop campaign tour that women aspirants were conducting in Blantyre North East constituency.
As Mary Sophie Chitenje, representing People’s Party (PP) was addressing the crowd at Ngumbe Trading Centre along the road to Chileka Airport, Kaphuka stopped the minibus he was driving right in front to the truck which National Elections Systems Trust (NEST) is using as a campaign stage.
Chitenje was forced to stop speaking as Kaphuka’s minibus was equipped with a stronger sound system that was blaring with his campaign messages away from his own constituency, Blantyre Kabula, where he is up against fellow aspirants — Shadreck Banda (independent) Robert Enock Chikafa (UDF), Miguel Andreas Elias (MCP), Rashid Abdul Gaffar (DPP), independents Rodney Apawo Supply Mpanga, Francis Muluzi, Felix Njawala (UTM) and women aspirants Fanny Banda and Getrude Nankhumwa.
After Kaphuka had sped away, Chitenje, who was accompanied by Vera Chilewani for Malawi Congress Party (MCP), condemned Kaphuka’s behavior, saying he was supposed to that that in his constituency where his interests are.
“This shows these men are just desperate. How on earth can someone come here and campaign, away from his constituency, just to disturb us here. Please, vote for women.
“These men are taking you just for granted because they have the money to entice you which they know they are going to recover once voted into office,” said aspirant Chitenje.
Meanwhile, Cabinet minister and former Parliamentarian for Blantyre North East, Cecilia Chazama, who is aspiring to be given fresh mandate during the May 21 Tripartite Elections, did not turn up for the road show campaign which is being organised by NEST in conjunction with Chazama’s Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare.
NEST’s projects manager Chrispin Kasawala said Chazama was tied up with important government matters and sent her apologies with the promise to attend the next one in solidarity with fellow women aspirants as the 50-50 campaign gathers momentum.
Chitenje and Chilewani, whose parties are in an electoral alliance, visited Mchere, Nthawira, 17 Miles, Matindi, Lunzu Market Square and Ngumbe wards where they asked the people to vote for women and that they have the right to choose between the two by taking into consideration of what they are pledging.
“Come out in large numbers to vote and do so by choosing one of us,” Chitenje said. “Our constituency needs a major overhaul and it can only be done by a woman.
“I was born and bred here in Lunzu but ever since I was born, this area has not developed yet its a huge business hub since time immemorial through this market.
“Our education system has deteriorated. We need to start afresh from nursery stage to having good primary school blocks that have proper desks and learning materials.
“And no child should fail to go to school because of lack of fees. We must find means that we should always have a students’ bursary scheme which will be administered by a working committee that shall be entrusted to run development projects affairs,” she said.
On her part, Chilewani pledged to set up a loan scheme to be utilized by the youth and business women.
“The youths and women need to be empowered by setting up their own business ventures and the loans they shall be at disposal shall attract very soft interest,” she said.
NEST is facilitating these whistle stop tours in all the 13 constituencies that make up Blantyre District, which has 64 women aspirants vying for seats in Parliament and the District Council.
The Trust has a busy schedule for these women and so far they have managed to visit 10 constituencies — Blantyre City South East, Blantyre City South, Blantyre South West, Blantyre Bangwe, Blantyre City East, Blantyre City Central and Blantyre Malabada, Blantyre Kabula and now Blantyre North East.
Last week, they were in Blantyre Kabula Constituency to market four women aspiring Members of Parliament and Ward Councillors — Fanny Banda representing Freedom Party as MP and independent MP Gertrude Nakhumwa, while Elluby Ellies Banda is aspiring independent councillor for Mbayani Ward and Elizabeth Machinjiri also as independent councillor for South Lunzu Ward.
Last Friday, they were in Blantyre Malabada with five — United Transformation Movement (UTM) candidate Eleanor Harawa; independents Noria Kachale, Joyce Namba Chikafa, Bernadetta Limani Nanthambwe and aspiring councillor Chisomo Makachu of the United Democratic Front (UDF).
NICE’s Kasawala said people are now eager to listen and give the women a chance to participate in politics and decision making in the national assembly and in the Council as they now have a good idea on what 50:50 campaign is.
“This activity has given the women the courage to be able to articulate concrete arguments on why they should be given the mandate to participate in policy making and implementation,” he said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :