Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)vice president for the Central Region Hetherwick Ntaba is being accused of using Senior Chief Chadza to intimidate chiefs in Lilongwe Msodzi North to ensure their subjects do not vote for Malawi Congress Party (MCP) candidate Sosten Gwengwe in the October 17 by-elections.
Three senior Group Village Headmen and Two Group Village Heads from the area confirmed in separate interviews with Nyasa Times having been summoned by the Chief Chadza at his Msozi headquarters who told them he was under instructions of Ntaba.
“Yes its true our Senior Chief here is totally desperate to have DPP Candidate win the polls. The chiefs is threatening to remove us from our positions once MCP wandidate Sosten Gwengwe wins these polls, saying those are orders from Ntaba,” a Senior Group Village Headman (name shielded).
He said the chiefs are being asked to mobilise their subjects to vote for the DPP candidate a Mr Daka.
The senior chief Chadza has since promoted Village Headman Kapatamoyo to become Group Village headman just to strengthen his campaign chances and also as a token of appreciation for the job well done during one of his meetings.
“We are wondering is this democracy. The same people that made us suffer in one party dictatorship have moved to another party and still being dictatorial,” complained the chiefs.
But Ntaba dismissed the report as “baseless” and “malicious” .
There has also been reported fears of electoral fraud in the area.
Some constituencts are being asked to surrender the voting IDs to the chief, saying everyone doing so would be rewarded with soft loans.
Gwengwe confirmed the about receiving reports of snatching of voters IDs and chiefs intimidation but he was quick to refer the matter to MCP director of elections, Maxwell Thyolera.
“These issues have been submitted to the party and Malawi Electoral Commission now at this stage you can only talk to the party,” said Gwengwe.
Thyolera could not immediately comment.