With hours before voting, representatives of contestants in tomorrow’s Nsanje Lalanje Constituency by-elections have settled for an untainted poll after their campaign was fairly spoiled by violent acts.
The pledge came to light at Bangula Primary School yesterday when the delegates witnessed the dispatch of voting materials to various polling centres ahead of Tuesday’s parliamentary elections.
Three candidates—Gladys Ganda of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Lawrence Sitolo of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and an independent candidate Winnie Wakudyanaye—are contesting in Nsanje Lalanje.
Ganda’s representative Blessings Nsona, Shaban Dinyero for Sitolo and Wakudyanaye’s Isaac Falakeza, who are also monitors, promised a “violence-free” voting.
Commenting on the voting materials, the three applauded Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) for the transparency demonstrated in the exercise so far.
They said the process of transporting electoral materials had been perfect and hoped to witness the same manner throughout the period.
MEC team leader for Nsanje Lalanje by-elections, Felix Malunga, said to a “larger extent” their expectations have been met despite some pockets of ugly scenes.
National Initiative for Civic Education (Nice) Trust, one of the key stakeholders in the by-elections, said they were also impressed with the level of transparency and commitment shown by MEC in ensuring that all stakeholders participate in the process.
People of Nsanje Lalanje, which has 13 polling centres, are voting following the death in May of Sam Ganda (DPP) and the battle is primarily between Sitolo and Ganda (the late Sam Ganda’s widow).
Besides Nsanje Lalanje, MEC is also holding by-elections in Lilongwe City South East and Lilongwe Msozi South. There will also be Local Government by-elections in Mayani North Ward in Dedza North Constituency, Mtsiliza Ward in Lilongwe City West Constituency and Ndirande Makata Ward in Blantyre Malabada Constituency. n