Editorial CommentOpinion & Analysis

Authorities must act on Nsanje Lalanje violence


The Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) is on October 17 expected to conduct by-elections in three constituencies and three council wards in Lilongwe, Dedza, Blantyre and Nsanje, specifically Nsanje Lalanje Constituency.

In view of this, it is interesting to see the country’s parties shuffling and strategising in readiness for the elections.

However, caution must be exercised by all stakeholders in the elections because the elections are being held for the national good.


Recall that 2014 tripartite elections were spectacularly a mess. And the aftermath was there for everyone to see.

So, it is disheartening to hear that Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is being accused of unleashing terror on Malawi Congress Party (MCP) supporters in the run-up to the polls.

It is reported that yesterday morning, some people believed to be DPP sympathisers invaded the constituency and started removing MCP flags and harassing people thought to be MCP supporters.


Though both parties have denied responsibility of the imprudent act, it remains true that the skirmish did really happen.

But the electoral stakeholders must remember that the important thing about democracy is that we can elect, without bloodshed, the people who govern us including the Member of Parliament or ward councillor.

Political parties in the race for October 17 by-elections seats must not continue to be oblivious to the fact that we are in democracy where dissenting views are inevitable.

It should be held by all and sundry that if we are stopped by the manipulation of the electoral process to remove leaders we do not want and replace them with those we want, democracy is killed. And when you kill democracy, something else comes in to fill the vacuum. That something will always be the opposite of democracy.

And society tends to lose a great deal.

Mec should strictly act within their legal authority and ensure free-and-fair elections in Nsanje Lalanje and in other places as well.

Relevant authorities should investigate the Nsanje Lalanje incident and bring the rogues involved in the barbaric act to book.

There is a high temptation, especially in politics, to concern ourselves with the immediate, present at the expense of the future. Such temptations must be put on leash during these elections.

In fact, everyone in the elections must be guided by the principle of good citizenship and focus on the broader good the polls provide. Let the October 17 elections be free and fair.

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