By Audrey Kapalamula, Wezzie Gausi and Jameson Chauluka:
Tonse Alliance presidential candidate, who is also Malawi Congress Party leader Lazarus Chakwera has said the resignation of Malawi Electoral Commission Chairperson Justice Jane Ansah signifies that there has to be a new commission to work towards the fresh presidential election.
Chakwera said the country now needs a commission that will serve Malawians with diligence and professionally.
‘”We look forward to the new commission. We believe that those, who according to the law, have the responsibility, will follow the law. Let’s put in place new commission that will work professionally, a commission that serve Malawians without looking upon their personal interest,” he said.
Friday, Chakwera accompanied by members of Parliament, had whistle stops at Mitundu Trading Centre, Mchenga Trading Centre, before holding a rally at Lobi Trading Centre in Dedza District.
Speaking at Lobi, Chakwera reminded people of the need to bring change in the country.
He pointed out that Tonse Alliance will improve agriculture in the country in order to create a food secure nation.
“We have been in talks with companies in other countries, we are able to negotiate with them, but as we have been saying, we will also open factories here. We want to make sure that people get affordable fertilisers,” he said.
And speaking at a separate whistle stop tour in Salima, Tonse Alliance presidential runningmate and State Vice President Saulos Chilima said Ansah’s resignation was long overdue as people wanted her to step down earlier.
“We are here again this year because this woman failed to handle the elections in free and fair way. Even the court ruled her incompetent after hearing the evidence that was brought to the court,” Chilima said.
First Deputy Speaker Madalitso Kazombo, who belongs to Malawi Congress Party, said the resignation alone was not enough but Ansah must apologise to Malawians for failing them.
And addressing a rally at Naisi in Zomba, former president Joyce Banda, who leads Peoples Party, has condemned what she called attempts by some politicians to use religion during campaign ahead of the forthcoming presidential election.
“It was my brother, former president Dr. Bakili Muluzi who told me that political violence, tied to religious affiliations never ends. He advised me to avoid bringing religion into politics and I am wondering today that DPP-UDF alliance is championing politics of religions ahead of the election,” he said.
Taking his turn, MCP vice president Sidik Mia concurred with Banda, stressing that no presidential candidate or running mate should be campaigning using the religion card, especially Islam.
Speaking earlier, Commander-in-Chief of Citizens for Transformation, Timothy Mtambo, said the Chakwera-Chilima partnership is the only pair geared to bail women and the youth out of the bondage of poverty and hunger.
Mtambo said it does not come as a surprise to her that former president Banda, who is respected all over the world, is also supporting the Chakwera- Chilima presidency beyond the June 23 fresh presidential election.
He however demanded resignation of the remaining Malawi Electoral Commission commissioners.
“All the other commissioners should also resign because we cannot trust them to manage the fresh presidential election. We want credible election which can only be delivered by credible Mec,” he said.
UTM Vice President Michael Usi challenged Malawians to consider their own livelihoods as they approach the fresh presidential election.
“Malawi is not what you see in the streets. It is not the big buildings we see in the cities. Malawi is not the big cars which politicians have. Some of you do not have food for your children. You cannot afford to pay school fees for children. That is your Malawi. Some people are all over the country saying they have developed Malawi. Which Malawi?” he wondered.
Since campaign for the presidential election started on May 2, politicians have been up and down, drumming up support for their parties and candidates.
Today, runningmate for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and United Democratic Front (UDF) alliance Atupele Muluzi is holding a rally at Masintha Ground in Lilongwe.