Malawi: Mchinji Chiefs Endorse Female Candidates in the May Elections

Mchinji — Chiefs in Mchinji have endorsed female aspiring Members of Parliament (MPs) ahead of the May 21 polls in an effort to achieve the 50:50-representation in the august House.

Group Village Head Kaigwazanga announced that chiefs in the district would help in mobilising voters to elect more female MPs in the forthcoming elections.

She was speaking on Sunday at Mikayeli School ground in the district during an event organised by Oxfam-Malawi to drum up support for former Mchinji North legislator, Rachel Zulu (Malawi Congress Party) who is seeking re-election.

She said women are more development conscious as compared to their male counterparts.

"As chiefs, we will drum up support for female candidates in the district because we have seen that they are better when it comes to developing their areas, unlike men.

"We are also commending NGOs like Oxfam for campaigning for re-election of female candidates," she said.

She explained that they would ensure that women candidates or voters should not suffer political violence during the campaign period.

In his remarks, Oxfam-Malawi's Program Manager for Women's Rights, Dr Anthony Malunga said the organisation focused on retaining the previous seating female Members of Parliament.

Oxfam-Malawi, with support from Electric Aid and Oxfam Island, has been in every constituency across the country drumming up support for women parliamentary candidates.

"We want to ensure that chiefs and voters are taking a leading role in advocating and campaigning for women to be voted into power as they [women] have the potential to develop their areas," he said.

Chairperson for Gender Coordination Network (NGO-GCN), Babra Banda, who was Chief Campaigner at the event, said women were more productive than men.

She further said the women usually spend more time and effort communicating with their constituents.

On her part, Zulu commended Oxfam-Malawi for campaigning for female candidates.

She, however, advised other female candidates to conduct issue-based campaign to avoid political violence.

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