Mbakuwaku Movement for Development (MMD) leader Peter Dominico Sinosi Driver Kuwani has intensified use of modern technology to garner votes in the forthcoming fresh presidential election scheduled for June 23, 2020.
Unlike his contenders, Dr. Lazarus Chakwera of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM Alliance and Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika who will represent the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and United Democratic Front (UDF) partnership, Kuwani has centred his campaign on the use of social media platforms and radio to advance his messages to voters instead of public rallies.
He argues that public rallies have the potential to expose attendees to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic; hence, he will restrict his campaign to use of modern technology prevent the spread of the disease.
However, Kuwani assured Nyasa Times in an interview on Monday that he remains confident about securing the majority votes (50 + 1) to earn him a ticket to occupy the highest office of the President on the land.
“As I said when I presented my nomination papers to the Malawi Electoral Commission, we just have to observe social distancing because we are doing it for the benefit of the nation. It will be meaningless to get ushered into government and we have a sick nation. That will be costly and again it will derail national development,” he said.
He said apart from online campaigning, the party is relying on what he described as foot soldiers who are spread across the country, reaching out to the voters living in the remotest corner of the country.
“We have footprints which we are using to refresh the agenda of redefining and restructuring a cartel of the country’s political system aimed at unearthing treasures for the benefit of the marginalized society,” said Kuwani.
Political and governance commentators recently said while there are alternatives such as use of television, radios, drama and social media platforms, politicians will find it hard to use such mediums as they believe in wooing voters through rallies.
Ernest Thindwa, a political science lecturer at Chancellor College—a constituent college of the University of Malawi, told a local paper recently that it is sad that politicians believe in rallies as the only way to campaign.
“In the eyes of the politicians, these are not effective when compared to holding political rallies,” said Thindwa.
On her part, Mzuzu-based political analyst Emily Mkamanga said politicians prefer crowds despite the covid-19 threat because they believe it is the only effective way of convincing them to vote for them.
Since MEC launched the official campaign period on May 2, political parties have been in a “business as usual” approach, holding rallies which thousands of supporters patronise without observing social distancing, among other precautionary measures.
The Ministry of Health Principal Secretary Dr. Dan Namarika said the ministry is equally concerned with political rallies where physical distancing is not possible.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :