With fresh presidential elections now firmly set for June 23 2020, presidential candidates are crisscrossing the country for votes. They are employing all tricks in the book to woo voters.
We have heard about the one million jobs in the first year in government, slashing the price of fertilizer from the current K23 000 to K4 000 a bag, among others. Other promises are free water and electricity connection fees, a reformed Civil Service, markets for produce, etc. from the Tonse Alliance.
Leading the DPP-UDF alliance is the group’s running mate Atupele Muluzi. He has been shouldered the huge responsibility ever to help his boss in the alliance Peter Mutharika remain at State House after courts nullified his election on February 3 this year.
Obviously, there is very little time left for campaign. By the way, the campaign will be seven days shorter than the appropriated official campaign period after the election date was moved backwards. How this will pan out with the provisions of Section 57 of the PPEA, Parliament should sort out. Suffice to say the the Government side feels short-changed by the Opposition in the House for setting of the polling date with a resolution. Government wanted to set the date through an amendment of the Constitution. But the same Government legislators would have blocked the Bill. Besides the House would not have got the required two thirds of the votes required for an amendment to go through. All in all it was trap. But the Opposition was equal to the task and had already gone a step ahead of the Government side by the time they wanted to introduce the Bill.
Now with only 12 days to the voting day (as of June 10 2020) the DPP-UDF alliance is using every opportunity to get votes attending and meeting bills for all funerals. It is called incumbency advantage. Good for the DPP-UDF campaign.
This week Muluzi also visited a boy DPP-UDF alliance partners claim was shot by the Tonse Alliance running mate Saulos Chilima on Friday last week in at Nselema in Machinga. For all we know the UTM Party leader never reached Nselema. Atupele must be furious with Eastern Region police publicist Joseph Sauka for contradicting him. According to Sauka, only one boy got injured when Machinga Police fired teargas to disperse the mob which blocked Chilima’s passage. So, what was Atupele Muluzi doing at that village where a boy was paraded with both legs covered with a piece of cloth and allegedly nursing gunshot wounds?
Interestingly, Muluzi left the ‘sick’ boy right there in the village after cheering him. Why did he not send him to a good hospital in the country for better treatment and care? This whole thing was just propaganda. It is cheap propaganda but part of a bigger campaign strategy which has, all of a sudden, come with a flurry of road construction projects across of the country. Two such road projects are in Mangochi and Chiradzulu, Ministers Ralph Jooma and Joseph Mwanamvekha’s constituencies, respectively. And what a deal between these two dudes! Mwanamvekha is in-charge of the Treasury and Jooma responsible for construction of roads in the country. You scratch my back and I scratch yours. But that is a story for another day.
Government has also moved road construction equipment to several roads in Kasungu and other districts. In all these sites, there is no real construction taking place but just to give people an impression government has started constructing the promised roads. It is the same kind of propaganda which has riled people in Mzimba over the failure to construct Mombera University. But to date, the concrete pillar and a road leading to the site remain the only infrastructure at the place. To put salt on a festering wound, Atupele Muluzi who was in the North last week was at it again saying Government will construct the Mombera University. If truth be told the DPP-led government does not know how angry people in Mzimba for its broken campaign promise on the proposed university.
And today Mutharika is presiding over a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers stadia in Blantyre. It’s our taxes which will do the job, but good for his campaign.