The Malawi Congress Party (MCP) secretary general Eisenhower Mkaka has strongly condemned the escalating political tension and violence that has rocked Karonga Central Constituency politics during the ongoing campaign ahead of the November 10 by-election.
The stern warning comes at a time when the constituency has already registered eight serious cases of assault and unlawful wounding since the launch of campaign in September which observers say has the potential to discredit the credibility of the by-elections’ results.
Mkaka who is also Minister of Foreign Affairs said this during two campaign rallies organised to drum up support for Leonard Mwalwanda at Lughali and Ibundya grounds, saying he was forced to report directly to the Commissioner of Police for the Northern Region after he had been received in the area with the disheartening wounding of the MCP supporters who had been allegedly cut by UTM party supporters at Gumi and were in stitches.
Said Mkaka: “Series of political attacks are serious cases that need immediate police intervention to arrest the culprits to bring peace if we are to conduct peaceful elections. Do not support leaders who incite violence by financially funding perpetrators of the same. That is why I urge you all to vote for Mwalwanda, a calm, peaceful and development conscious person who will end the shameful name of Benghazi and bring about peace and coexistence in the area”.
The secretary general further said MCP’s strong pillars lie on servant leadership whose leaders do not incite violence, unity and coexistence, even distribution of development and battle against corruption which he said slows down development and socio economic growth.
At the Lughali rally, the secretary general welcomed into MCP’s fold 65 Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) party supporters who according to the area’s governor Chafadolo Sichali said had defected to the party due to its leadership style, saying the DPP has lost direction over leadership succession wrangles which have recently swayed the immediate past ruling party.
In an interview, MCP’s 2nd deputy president Harry Mkandawire touted Mwalwanda for fostering various developmental needs in the area, citing donations of iron sheets, cement and timber for various schools and the borehole drilling which he said will drill 10 boreholes in the constituency to enable people access portable water.
Meanwhile, two supporters of the independent candidate Shackie MaryFlorence Nthakomwa were assaulted on Sunday by the UTM party supporters at Mwenilondo for mounting a campaign banner.
In an interview, Nthakomwa lamented the development which came barely a day after the five candidates had reaffirmed their commitment at a multiparty liaison to ending political violence.
“Yes I can confirm that two supporters Fishani Chisiza, 36 and Jonathan Zigana 29 both from Mwangolera village in the area of paramount Chief Kyungu were roughed up by the UTM party supporters who also tried in vain to destroy my campaign banner that was mounted at Mwenilondo. I have since reported the matter to both the District Commissioner and the Police,” she said.
However, UTM party’s district chairman Honest Sichinga was not readily available for comment.
Karonga Police officer In-charge Sam Nkhwazi asked for more time before commenting on the matter.
Justice and Peace of Karonga Diocese Desk officer Louis Nkhata faulted the five candidates for failing to adhere to issue based campaign, saying failing to walk the talk is also a major contributing factor towards the ever-increasing violence which he said can also scare voters.
He said: “Democratically, let us accommodate each other as we cannot all belong to one political grouping. And again, candidates should also avoid use of hate speech at political podiums towards each other as supporters take after that and start wreaking havoc”.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :