Two horse race in Mzimba Central and Mzimba South West, PP and DPP face-off in by-elections
It is a two horse race in Mzimba Central and Mzimba South West by elections slated for October 9 where the ruling People’s Party and the former ruling Democratic Progressive Party are geared to out-smart each other.
The electoral commission has already declared campaign period open for the ten candidates to sway the about voters in the two constituencies. But on paper the race is between PP and DPP.
DPP must win to show that its resurrection path is on track while the PP must win to demonstrate that it has been welcomed by Malawians having entered into government through the back door.
However political commentator, Mustafa Hussein says independent candidates cannot be ruled out entirely.
"Traditionally, the northern region has been a political strong-hold of Aford. The 2011 by elections attests to this fact. Again, in these by-elections, one can't completely rule out independent candidates, who might pull out a surprise," the political commentator said.
Meanwhile, from what the candidates are saying, issues of education, security and agriculture will dominate this campaign.
For example, the DPP candidate for Mzimba Central, Owen Mkandawire, says he will focus on the issues of security. This is reinforced by DPP’s Spokesperson, Nicholas Dausi.
"Security in the country has deteriorated and also many problems have crept in since the demise of President Bingu wa Mutharika, vindicating our fears that PP was not capable to run the country," said Dausi.
Our reporter in Mzimba, Vanani Nyirenda, says Raymond Nkhata, the party’s candidate in Mzimba South West, is promising to bring food security in the area, apart from uplifting education standards.
The Electoral Commission says the institution will leave no stone unturned, to ensure a free and fair campaign in the Mzimba by-elections.
Electoral commission spokesperson, Sangwani Mwafulirwa,” the commission together with other stakeholders have set up district multi-party liaison committees which are charged with the responsibility of dealing with all complaints related to elections like these, and all the candidates have signed a Code of Conduct that they have to abide by."
Mzimba South West registered 34, 057 voters, while Mzimba Central has registered 41, 298.