Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has warned political parties and youths in Mangochi District against provocative campaigns and acts capable of breaching peace in the build-up to the 2019 tripartite polls.
MEC Mangochi election clerk Mcnight Kachingwe issued the warning on Friday in the district when the electoral body organized a Multiparty Liaison Committee (MPLC) aimed at reminding electoral stakeholders about their roles ahead of the elections.
The warning followed the spate of violence the lake shore district has registered since August this year where among others, the touching of UTM vehicles by other party supporters during the eve of the launch of party in the district and the recent “DPP-MCP frays” over venue at Mtakataka in Monke-Bay.
In an interview, Kachingwe challenged political parties and candidates to conduct themselves in a manner that would promote peace in the society and facilitate peaceful conduct of the elections.
He warned: “Politicians and supporters are neither expected to carry machetes or offensive weapons during rallies, campaigns and other political activities. Nor are they supposed to use the youth to disrupt other parties’ functions,”
Kachingwe emphasized that thuggery, intimidation and demonstration of violent conduct will not be condoned during pre and post-elections in the district, saying any action such as removal of posters and bill boards by irate party supporters will warrant action as enshrined in the electoral act.
“As a political party or a member of the party, you are not expected to retain,organize, train, equip or procure persons or group of persons for the use or display of force and violence during political rallies,” he conversed.
To drive the message home, Kachingwe called on political parties, youths and other stakeholders to work as a team to ensure 2019 violence free-elections.
In their remarks, representatives of political parties’ (DPP, UDF, PP, MCP, UTM, and among others) assured MEC and stakeholders promised that they will endevour to stick to electoral code of conduct to ensure free, fair and peaceful elections.
“We have heard the advice. Going forward we commit to conduct peaceful campaigns devoid of abusive languages that can directly or indirectly injure a person,” pledged JumaMlauzi, a DPP district governor.