Mzuzu — Aspiring councilors for Masasa Ward in Mzuzu City Constituency have expressed dismay over parents who send children to do vending in the city's streets, saying the malpractice hinders the children's education.
The aspirants raised the concern on Tuesday during a public debate for aspiring councilors that was organised by National Initiative for Civic Education (Nice) Trust at Masasa Primary School in Mzuzu City.
During the debate, shadow councilor for Freedom Party, Moses Mwale said it was not on for parents to send their children to vend in streets instead of focusing on education.
"Many children vending in Mzuzu City are from Masasa. This is contributing to their failure at school," Mwale said.
He then warned he would lobby to put in place bylaws, once voted as councilor, which would deter parents from the malpractice, saying children's future need to be jealously guarded.
"When I am voted into power, I will punish any parent who sends children to do vending in the city, especially at night.
"Children have to study hard. In this way, we can empower both girls and boys with education in Mzuzu City," he said.
United Transformation Movement (UTM) candidate, Evans Harawa said education needed to be a priority for every child.
"When voted into power, UTM Government will end quota system, as such I will make sure that children are taught fully at their schools and parents should not send their children to do vending," Harawa said.
On her part, the only female candidate of the ward, United Democratic Front (UDF)'s Mary Mhango said when voted into power she would introduce more nursery schools in the ward to build a passion for education in children.
The debate also tackled food security, inclusive education, abuse of development funds for the ward and security for persons with albinism.
The aspirants present at the debate were Moses Msamala for Democratic Progressive Party, Moses Mwale for Freedom Party, Evans Harawa for UTM, Manson Mwaya for Malawi Congress Party.
Others were Blessings Kamanga for Alliance for Democracy (AFORD) and Mary Mhango (UDF).