Efforts to provide civic and voter education are proving impossible in the central constituency of northern district of Karonga following political violence which often erupts between supporters of aspiring candidates whenever civic educators hold such meetings in the constituency.
Raising the concern during National Initiative for Civic Educational (NICE) meeting the District’s Electoral Commissioner Clerk Hastings Manda said it is very pathetic because women and youths are being used as weapons to threaten others through hate songs.
“We are really finding it hard to communicate voter education messages to the people in central constituency because people are divided and women and youth sing hate songs against other candidates. And the disturbing thing is that supporters of opposing candidates do not attend meetings where there is supporters of another contestant a thing that disturb the communication process,” said Manda.
He says youths arm themselves with dangerous weapons such as crabs and many others which are used to disrupt opponent’s meetings.
Manda said although in democracy people have a right to do whatever they want, they should not forget the responsibility because the behavior shown by followers of some parliamentarians is disturbing and affecting innocent people who want to learn what tripartite elections are all about.
He pleaded with the office of the District Commissioner to do something to control the malpractice to have successful elections in the constituency.
Northern Regional Civic Education Officer Enock Chinkhuntha conquered with Manda saying Karonga central constituency is the most violent part of the district.
“Basically the past two the elections have proved that Karonga central constituency is too violent. As NICE we condemn such behavior as it compromises electoral process,” said Chinkhuntha.
He said women and youths confess that they are being sent to compose hate songs to insult opponents and that youth are given alcohol so that when they are drug they should throw stones at their opponents.
Chinkhuntha said as NICE, they are now closely working with political parties and the office of District Commissioner to resolve political violence happing in the district specifically Karonga central which has proved to be politically volatile.