1 May 2014

Malawi: Lilongwe Records a Violence Free Tripartite Campaign Period

Lilongwe — Lilongwe, which experienced a series of political violence during the 2004 and 2009 general elections, has recorded a violence free campaign period in this year's tripartite election, Malawi News Agency (Mana) has learnt.

Speaking during a Multipart Liaison Committee (MPLC), Officer-in-Charge for Lilongwe Police Richard Luhanga which is responsible for a majority of police units in the district said his office is happy that Lilongwe has not recorded any incident of political violence during the campaign period.

"Let me take this opportunity to inform you that Lilongwe has not recorded any incident of political violence during the tripartite campaign period a scenario which is different from the previous elections," said Luhanga.

His colleague from Kanengo Police which is responsible for most parts of Lilongwe city, Isaac Maluwa concurred with him saying this had happened due to among other factors a good working relationship between parties through MPLC and tight security offered by the police.

"The absence of political violence can mainly be attributed to the excellent working relationship among parties through this committee. Let us continue the good work to ensure a violence free election period," said Maluwa.

According to the two Officers-in-Charge, 1333 police officers would be on duty during the polling day and security would further be beefed up by Malawi Defence Force (MDF) to ensure that there is peace and orderliness.

"About 1, 333 police officers will be on duty to help keep order in the district. We have not recruited new officers for the exercise as some quarters have been saying.

"The army will beef up security. All security officers be it army or police will be in uniform and will have proper identification," said Luhanga.

District Commissioner for Lilongwe, Charles Kalemba, assured the meeting where all parties and independent candidates were represented that all government officials in the district will conduct themselves in a non-partisan manner to ensure free and fair elections.

"I assure you that we will not be partisan. Feel free to ask where there is a need. Let me take thank you all for the violence free campaign period.

Let us keep our peace during the polling day and the post polling period regardless of the outcome," said Kalemba.

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