Jun 23, 2018 Last Updated 2:14 PM, Jun 22, 2018
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Umodzi Party President John Chisi has stressed that his party has no money to bribe people to vote for him in the forthcoming 2019 tripartite elections.

Chisi says political handouts are major factors that are derailing the country’s socio-economic development.

He insinuates that giving handouts to people in form of money, T-shirts and clothes is similar to barter system of buying and selling of goods and services.

The medical professor cum politician says giving such items to people entails that the politician should not initiate and invest in development projects of the country as they already exchanged their services with material during campaign which he describes as a corrupt act.

“Let me tell you this, a patriotic Malawian will never ask for money or clothes from a politician to vote for them but will be propelled by good manifestos of development and Umodzi is the only political party in Malawi which has got passion to serve people with honest,” said Chisi.

Chisi said this in Karonga district during a political rally meant to woo voters in 2019.

Commenting on the issue, the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) Desk Officer for Karonga Diocese of the Catholic Church, Louis Nkhata commended Chisi for his style of campaign.

Nkhata says giving political handouts to people during campaign is against the constitution of the republic of Malawi and Malawi Electoral Commissions’ Act.

Malawians are proposing that inactive political parties be deregistered ahead of the 2019 general polls, following concerns of low party participation during elections.

Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) Chairperson Jane Ansah has on a number of occasions expressed concern on how most political party prefer to not take part in by elections and only in general elections.

The most recent was during the announcement of the results of the by elections which were held last month the Chairperson emphasised on the need for dormant parties to participate in elections so to positively contribute to the country’s democracy.

In a country where there are over 50 registered political parties all claiming to want to develop Malawi, one has to question how party participation in elections can be so low. 

Perhaps some political parties feel that they have little support on the ground and competing in elections would mean using precious resources, s risk which they may not be willing to take.

Political analyst Happy Kayuni says registering and establishing political parties is the right of every Malawian.

“However though they have such a right they also have the responsibility to keep them going and participate in activities such as by elections.

The majority of the political parties in the country do not know their roles, that are why there have been calls to amend the political party act,” Kayuni adds.

If amended, the law will allow authorities to deregister inactive parties.

Concurring with Kayuni, people eligible to vote think it is high time dormant political parties start having vision and making their moves, or else de-register 

Malawi’s electoral body through its spokesman Sangwani Mwafulirwa is on the other hand optimistic that dormant political parties will start to participate in the elections, as it is the whole essence of getting registered after all.

Mwafulirwa tells Capital FM that, Malawi has over 50 political parties, however only a handful participate in elections.

The mood for the 2019 general elections is already being set with active political parties all hoping to win key positions and making their moves.

Now is the time for all parties to clearly indicate if they will contest or not, for the electorate to start making their choices.

PP Loses Ward Councilor

Ward councilor for Nkhango ward in the northern part of Chitipa district, Isaac Mwepa has announced his decision to quit Peoples Party (PP) for the Malawi Congress Party (MCP).

Mwepa says his decision to quit his party follows good political leadership of the MCP under Lazarus Chakwera.

The ward councilor and former Chitipa district chairman says he is geared to contest on MCP ticket as a member of parliament during the tripartite elections in 2019.

And he has expressed optimism of winning the elections with 50 plus votes.

“I have decided to dump Peoples Party to join MCP because of its current leadership headed by Lazarus Chakwera.

I think you can agree with me that Malawians have spoken and are fed up with the current government. My joining will help MCP clinch power in the general elections,” said Mwepa.

He believes that because he was entrusted by his fellow councilors to the position of chairperson of Chitipa District Council and some development project in his ward, he will also be entrusted to represent the people as a Member of Parliament (MP).

Speaking to Capital FM after receiving the new member in the party at district level, the MCP’s Regional Chairperson, Kezzie Msukwa said he is well assured that the new blood in the party will help keep the ball rolling.

Msukwa added that Mwepa will actually coordinate well with the youths because he is also in his youthful age and his has been active and he has made an impact on many Chititpa north residents.

He therefore added that it is high time Malawians cherished selfish political parties that do not have a conscious towards the welfare of the poor citizenry. 

The Malawi Electoral Commission has accredited 110 civil society organisations, to conduct Civic Education for the 2019 Tripartite Polls.

Among these are faith-based organisations, human rights organisations, and organisations advocating for the rights of people with disabilities.

According to a statement by the commission, signed by the deputy Chief Elections Officer Harris Potani, the CSOs applied to be accredited.

The organisations are responsible for providing civic and voter education on behalf of the commission, ahead of the polls.

The CSOs will be issued accreditation certificates during a meeting scheduled to be held in Lilongwe in early December. 

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