The leadership of the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and UTM Party have urged peace among their Northern Region supporters who continue removing each other’s flags and vandalising billboards.
Mzuzu and Karonga have been at the centre of the controversy as billboards for President Peter Mutharika, who is also DPP presidential candidate, and that of Vice-President and UTM Party torch-bearer Saulos Chilima, have been vandalised.
Speaking on Wednesday at a rally in Mzuzu, DPP regional governor (North) Kenneth Sanga called for peace, urging followers to remain calm as the May 21 polls draw closer.
He claimed UTM Party supporters were deliberately provoking them, but urged DPP followers to remain calm.
Said Sanga: “We know what UTM has been doing, vandalising our campaign materials everywhere. They are doing this deliberately so that we respond through violence, but we will not.”
On his arrival in Mzuzu on Monday, Chilima urged his supporters not to retaliate against what the alleged DPP followers are doing.
He said: “They are deliberately provoking us, but let us not hit back. Party flags don’t vote, it is people who vote. So let them continue vandalising campaign materials, don’t do anything.”
Last week, Matabwa Market vendors in Mzuzu banned flighting of political party flags and other campaign materials in the market to ease tension between supporters of the two parties.
In an interview, National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera said police are increasing patrols and security checks to ensure safety for everyone during campaign. n