Karonga District Elections Supervisory Team (Dest) has accused UTM and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) of fanning political violence ahead of the November 10, 2020 by-elections in the district’s central constituency.
The development has propelled chairperson of the team, Paul Kalilombe, who is also District Commissioner for Karonga, to issue a stern warning that the behaviour will be reported to Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) if it persists.
Karonga Police Station Officer-in-Charge, Sam Nkhwazi, said Karonga Central Constituency had registered eight political violence cases so far where a total of 12 people were assaulted.
Six of the victims are supporters of MCP while six are UTM supporters.
Speaking on Saturday during the Multiparty Liaison Committee (MPLC) meeting at Chiwondo Teachers Development Centre in the district, Kalilombe said issues of political violence, removal of party materials, banners and flags had the potential to negatively affect the electoral process.
“I have issued a final warning. If the situation will not improve I am going to refer the matter to Mec. We are appealing to the candidates of UTM and MCP to carefully moderate their messages when conducting their campaign,” Kalilombe said.
MCP candidate Leonard Mwalwanda, while refuting allegations that his supporters were involved in political violence, pledged to promote peaceful coexistence during the remaining days of the campaign.
UTM’s Frank Mwenifumbo also said peace and coexistence are part of the pillars of his party.
Others who took part in the meeting were Chairperson of the Centre for Multiparty Democracy, Joseph Chidanti-Malunga and the organisation’s Executive Director Kizito Tenthani.
Other candidates competing in the Karonga Central Constituency by-election are Florence Nthakomwa, independent, Nellie Sichali of Mbakuwaku Movement for Development and Democratic Progressive Party’s Ernest Mwalughali.
Karonga Central Constituency has about 14,000 registered voters.
By-elections will also be conducted in Lilongwe North West and Makhwira Ward in Chikwawa East Constituency.