Traditional Authority (T/A) Kwataine has urged fellow traditional leaders to desist from taking political sides during the campaign period ahead of the forthcoming 2019 Tripartite Elections.
The chief was speaking yesterday at the review of Multiparty Liaison Committee (MPLC) guidelines meeting in Lilongwe.
He said: “I urge my fellow traditional leaders to provide a conducive environment for everybody regardless of their political party.
“Our role is to ensure that we provide a level field for everybody to try his luck on the political arena.”
In her remarks, Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Electoral Services Committee chairperson Jean Mathanga said it is important to continue shaping the future of conflict management and resolution in the country, adding credibility of elections is not only determined by activities on the polling day but the entire process.
She said: “Political disputes are now deep-rooted in Africa and they pose a threat to the maturity of multiparty democracy in Africa.
“It is for this reason that workshops like this one, where we want to continually shape the future of conflict management and resolution, are important and necessary.”
In previous elections, some chiefs were criticised for favouring the ruling party during the campaign period by restricting opposition political parties from campaigning in their areas.
Some parties have also previously complained that their supporters are not allowed to erect flags of their political parties which at times has led to conflict and violence.
MPLCs, structures that help in managing and settling electoral disputes at district level, have according to MEC, proved to be effective in conflict resolution since establishment in 2000.
MPLCs comprise district commissioners (DC), district chairpersons or political party governors, traditional authorities and MEC representatives.