Amid continuing strategic attempts by his political foes to tarnish his public image, ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) southern region vice president, Kondwani Nankhumwa says he will this week storm Shire Valley districts of Chikwawa and Nsanje to encourage people to register as voters and vote in the May 21 2019 Tripartite elections.
Social media has been awash with claims that Nankhumwa, who is also Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, has fake educational qualifications.
He released a public statement on Wednesday, accusing unnamed politicians of “concocting lies” against him for political reasons. Nankhumwa challenged anyone to cross-check with various educational institutions he has been to in order to find out the truth about his qualifications.
“I know who is behind all this but I can assure you I am not perturbed. I have my energy and eyes seriously focused on working with all party structures in the region to ensure that the party and His Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika win next year’s polls with a landslide,” said Nankhumwa, declining to disclose who is behind the smear campaign because “I don’t want to engage in petty political fights at the expense of the mammoth responsibility the party has entrusted me with”.
He told Nyasa Times in a telephone interview from Lilongwe on Sunday, September 16, 2018 that buoyed by “extremely successful political rallies” in Phalombe, Mulanje and Thyolo districts in the past two weeks, he would be heading to Lower Shire this week to drum up support for President Mutharika and DPP ahead of the forthcoming harmonized presidential, parliamentary and council elections scheduled for May 21 next year.
He will visit Bangula,Tengani, Nsanje Boma and Marka on Wednesday and then tour Mkhathe in Chikwawa and Fatima in Nsanje on Thursday.
“My main message is to encourage Malawians of voting age to register as voters so that they are able to vote in the forthcoming elections. Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) is carrying out a phased registration exercise and that if they are in your area, it is important to register so that we are all able to choose our leaders and government in 2019. It is our birthright.
“Additionally, I am encouraging Malawians to give DPP and President Mutharika maximum support and vote for us because we are the only hope for Malawians in as far as social and economic development is concerned,” said Nankhumwa, who is also legislator for Mulanje central.
“I wish to thank regional governor for southern region, Charles Mchacha and his committee for their relentless support since I was elected as VP for the region in July. They have been very cooperative and I am certain this spirit will continue and lead us to victory in 2019.
“I also wish to express my sincere gratitude to our secretary general Gerselder Jeffrey wa Jeffrey, director of elections Ben Phiri and senior advisor to president Mutharika on political affairs, Francis Mphepo and Phalombe, Thyolo and Mulanje MPs, among others, for their valuable presence during my last whistle-stop tours,” he said.
Nankhumwa said he believed there is strength in unity and that 2019 elections would be a walkover for DPP if members remain united “as children of one family”.
“Finally, as I have said before, I am a firm believer in issue-based politics. I wish to encourage all DPP members to practice modern and civilized politics devoid of insults and violence. These vices must not be allowed to dominate our modern politics under any circumstances,” said Nankhumwa.