Major political parties in the country have pledged to hold peaceful and issue-based campaign in the run-up to the fresh presidential election scheduled for July 2.
The pledges were made on Thursday at National Police Headquarters in Lilongwe where political party officials, Centre for Multiparty Democracy (CMD) and acting Inspector General (IG) of Police Duncan Mwapasa signed a peace pact.
Mwapasa said the pact seeks to address political violence and intimidation which have characterised the political landscape.
He said: “We are not happy with what is happening. People are creating boundaries for their opponents; there is careless use of foul words by politicians and the youth have been turned into instruments of violence.”
In the agreement, political parties have committed to support police in instilling peace, adopting issue-based campaign, avoiding mobilising the youth for violence and following procedures when planning rallies.
On the other hand, police have pledged to provide security at all political party rallies, to be visible at district level through the Multiparty Liaison Committees, to avoid taking instructions from political party officials and to frequently hold joint briefings with secretaries general (SGs) of political parties.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) SG Grezelder Jeffrey said her party will guide its youths on how to conduct themselves, even when provoked by supporters of other parties.
“We will adhere to the agreement to see peace prevail. Let us not divide ourselves because of politics,” she said.
Malawi Congress Party (MCP) was not present at the ceremony, but the acting IG said their absence was due to an emergency in the party. He, however, said MCP has been participating in all preparatory meetings of the agreement.
CMD executive director Kizito Tenthani said he was excited with the agreement and asked political parties and the police to adhere to their pledges.