President Peter Mutharika yesterday drummed up support for a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate in the November 1 Parliamentary and Local Government Elections (LGE) by-elections.
Mutharika, who stopped in Dedza on his way to the Southern Region from Lilongwe, said the DPP candidate for Bembeke Ward, Betty Maluwa, was the only person who could bring development in the area.
“If you want development in this area, vote for the DPP candidate here because she will be contacting me freely for solutions in terms of development projects. If you choose an opposition party candidate as your councillor, he or she will not be free at all, and will be shivering, to approach me,” Mutharika declared.
He said Dedza will benefit from his government as he continues efforts to revive the economy by attracting more investors from countries like China, India and Japan, and by ensuring that no one dies from starvation in the face of the current hunger, which affects more than 6,3 million people.
But University of Malawi’s Chancellor College political lecturer Boniface Dulani said it is unfortunate that political leaders tend to utter half truths during campaign rallies.
“What the President uttered is mere campaign talk (designed to woo voters). The reality is in the practice,” Dulani stated, pointing out that under the local governance democracy, councillors don’t need to appeal to the President for development ‘solutions,’ because town and district councils make the needed financial and development decisions on those matters.
Mutharika, campaigning just a day before the closure of the campaign period which is October 30, said Maluwa was not a drunkard or an insane person as other candidates as such she would carry out her duties well.
Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) approved 27 candidates for the November 1 parliamentary race for Mchinji West Constituency and LGE by-elections in four wards in Kasungu, Zomba, Lilongwe and Dedza.
Newly appointed MEC chairperson Justice Jane Ansah faces her first test as she manages these by-elections, having been recently appointed by President Mutharika to replace the late Maxon Mbendera.
Ansah, speaking when she opened a training of trainers workshop on polling in Blantyre on October 20, assured that MEC was going to hold free and credible by-elections.
Other wards where the byelections are taking place are Kaliyeka in Lilongwe City South East, Sadzi Ward in Zomba Central and Bunda Ward in Kasungu Central.
Meanwhile, the Lhomwe clan today gathers at Mulhako wa Alhomwe headquarters at Chonde, Mulanje, to celebrate the group’s nine years of existence.
Mulhako wa Alhomwe national publicity chairperson Dickson Makhumba said all was set for the anniversary to be graced by President Peter Mutharika, a member of the group himself.
Makhumba said in an interview that as per tradition, the Lhomwes will display different traditional dances and foods as a way of embracing culture.