Machinga — Political Parties in Machinga have pledged to conduct violence free campaigns ahead of the most highly contested election in the district history as 49 parliamentary candidates will contest for seven parliamentary seats on May 20.
People Party (PP) United Democratic Front (UDF) Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) district chairpersons made the assurance at Liwonde in Machinga, recently during a Multiparty Liaison Committee meeting where parties met to evaluate the recent nomination papers presentation from 10th to 14th February.
According to Malawi Election Commission district official, Maurice Manchichi, the process went on well as party candidates had their turns to presents papers.
Machinga Police Officer in Charge, Gideon Nahumu who concurred with Manchichi said there were no confrontations during the week as PP, UDF, MCP and DPP candidates had their days for presentations.
To this effect, UDF governor for Machinga, Yuda Namaona, said his party is sure that the campaigns leading to the elections will be free of election related violence.
PP, MCP. DPP, PP, United Party, PPM, United Independent Party and independent candidates will contest in the tripartite elections. "Gone are the days of violence," Namaona said recalling the 2004 scenarios where a presidential rally was disrupted at Chikweo (Machinga South East) and a vehicle got smashed at Chimkwezule CCAP church (Machinga Likwenu)
DPPs Joeman Kandodo assured of violence free campaign saying party followers will be sensitised enough of the badness of violence campaign at the expense of party's good image.
Kandodo and PP district governor, Victor Khalaphee said the Multipart Liaison Committee meetings are the basis for the violence free campaigns.
The two commended NICE Trust for multiparty meetings while urging the trust to organize community meetings to give adequate information on political tolerance and co existence. PP, UDF, MCP and DPP suggested that the trust should organize series of joint party rallies where all district party governors should address supporters to demonstrate political parties' coexistence.
The party governors also suggested that no party colours should be used during rallies addressed by independent candidates as this ignite violence.
MCP district chairperson, Whisky Nonyera proposed a meeting for all party and independent candidate to champion free violence campaigns before official campaign launch March 21st.