Ruling Peoples Party accused of monopolising campaign venues in Mzimba
Malawi’s ruling People’s Party (PP) opponents in the two Mzimba by-elections have accused the party of monopolising campaign grounds and over-booking rally venues.
The opponents made the complaint during debates held in Mzimba Central and South West constituencies in northern Malawi on Monday and Tuesday, respectively.
But PP dismissed the claims, saying if there were any violations, the candidates would have officially complained to the Electoral Commission (EC).
An independent, Joseph Kachali, who ditched PP on allegations of segregation, claimed his campaign rallies were interrupted three times. He alleged that PP has a tendency of hijacking others venues.
DPP candidate, Owen Mkandawire, alleged his meetings were called off twice, arguing that PP was abusing its power as a ruling party to oppress others.
Said Aford candidate, Enita Njolwa: “It is my plea to EC that they should talk to PP to give others a chance. We are remaining with few days and everyone has to be given a chance to campaign.”
PP candidate Aram Beza, however, said all the candidates signed a code of conduct and there were no complaints coming forward.
Commissioner Dr Wellington Mkwepu Nakanga said EC has no control over venues. He said there was need for the aggrieved to lodge complaints to the District Commissioner. Nakanga also called on parties to conduct themselves maturely in the campaigns.
Meanwhile, one independent candidate in Mzimba Central failed to attend a political debate on Monday after he allegedly spent almost the whole day at Mzimba Police Station trying to seek clearance for his campaign manager to travel.
Kandodo Mvula claimed he went to the station after he was advised that the manager, Henry Shumba, would only be allowed to accompany him to the debate after a police clearance.