UTM Party supporters who came to give morale to their candidate Frank Mwenifumbo on Wednesday evening spoiled the first live political debate the National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) Public Trust organised for the five Parliamentary candidates contesting for the Karonga Central Constituency on November 10 by-election when they showered insults at the independent candidate Shackie Mary Florence Nthakomwa.
She was given muttering discontents when she was boarding her vehicle at Tuntufye FM radio campus in the presence of the party’s regional governor for the North Dr. Moses Mlenga and regional director of women Bridget Nkhoma.
In an interview, Nthakomwa who is regarded as UTM party founder in Karonga and the party’s candidate in the 2019 Parliamentary race, described the incident as both embarrassing, disgusting and deplorable taking into consideration that incident took place before senior party officials who failed to control the situation.
Nthakomwa has since threatened to report the disgraceful behaviour to relevant authorities for action.
She said: “During the campaign the UTM Party has been trailing my campaign team everywhere I go. On top of that, they have been castigating me during their campaign rallies. And today they pinned it down when they undressed me right after the debate by calling me a prostitute right in the presence of the party’s regional governor for the North Dr. Mlenga. I lost my temper and confronted the person who insulted me and Dr. Mlenga came to calm me down.
“I was surprised because he was supposed to rise above that and control the situation as the most senior party official. I don’t know what these want from me. I left the UTM Party and moved on with my political life. Enough is enough and will take the matter further for action”.
However, in a separate interview both Mwenifumbo and Mlenga played down the matter, saying Nthakomwa is just bitter with her former political party, UTM, adding “Nthakomwa is just in a fighting gear”.
“Yes I was there but those remarks never came from the UTM Party supporter. However, when I pleaded with her to calm down as a friend and former UTM party member, she (Nthakomwa) accused me of being a weak leader who could not control the UTM supporters,” Mlenga said.
In an interview on Friday, 50:50 Campaign Management Agency Team Leader Viwemi Chavula described the shameful act as sad and retrogressive to women empowerment that is vigorously campaigning for equal representation in decision making positions.
Said Chavula: “It is unbecoming behaviour and should be strongly reprimanded. The law and code of conduct should be used to redress this retrogressive act. At this day and age we do not expect parties’ supporters to do that especially recognising that Nthakomwa is the one who set up party structures in that district. Women’s rights are human rights. Therefore, we say no to all forms of violence in the forthcoming by-elections especially targeted at women”.