A picture of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) vice President Sidik Mia and running mate to the candidature of Lazarus Chakwera has gone viral on the social media when he visited Makhanga ‘Island’ in Nsanje North Constituency to address the people using a canoe transport.
Makhanga is in Deputy Speaker Mcheka Chilenje’s constituency—which Mia, during a Mangochi rally recently, predicted that it will be won easily by MCP candidate, Enock Chizuzu.
According to the locals, sailing through dugout canoes on Shire River is the only way to access Makhanga area as due to floods, the course of the Ruo River changed — making the area an Island— with the use of canoes as the only way to access the place from all directions.
Mia has been hailed for being the first top party leader to visit this abandoned place.
“Top politicians abandon this place. They fear they may drown as canoes operate without those lifesaving jackets. So this Mia guy is genuine and has shown that he is one of them [the people] and indeed very courageous,” said one posting on the social media.
In an interview, Mia confirmed the authenticity of the picture.
“We were there yesterday. I heard scary stories of hippos and crocodiles which threaten lives when sailing but I told the canoe operator; ‘ I am not scared, let’s go! I need to assure the people that side that they are part of Malawi and that when we take over, their problems will be fixed,” said Mia.
He continued:“People are struggling to interact with the mainland and more importantly to move goods from outside to the area. In the short run, I promised the people that our government will put a ferry to ease transportation of goods. This is very important and I wonder why this government is paying a blind eye to the plight of these people.”
The MCP’s second in command also said that their government will, in the long run, explore the possibility of fixing bridge and rail line—these facilities were swept away by floods.
“We had a bridge in Makhanga as well as a functioning rail line from Limbe passing through Makhanga to Bangula up to Beira in Mozambique. Our government will fix these facilities in order to improve the lives of our people,” he said.
After being declared running mate to Chakwera, Mia promised to mount a spirited campaign to wrestle power from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
“Let me renew my vow that I will work hard, visit the hard to reach places, even if it means using a canoe to reach those places. I will knock on every door to hunt for the winning vote and I will leave no stone unturned until we change the wrong direction our country has taken,” said Mia after being declared running mate.
On Saturday Mia will join Chakwera in Ntcheu district where the party will address a mega rally.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :