President Peter Mutharika has come under fire for declaring that only areas with governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators are assured of development.
Reacting to the President’s political rally speeches, Mzuzu-based socio-political commentator Emily Mkamanga said she was shocked to hear the Head of State saying that people would get more development projects if and when they voted for DPP candidates in the Tuesday by-election.
She said: “In a democracy like ours, such manipulation of the people is not acceptable. Government should pursue long laid-out development plans, irrespective of whether the MP in the area is from the ruling party or not. The President’s utterances show that our democracy is still in its infancy. We surely can do much better than this.”
Mutharika, like his predecessors Bakili Muluzi (1994 to 2004), the late Bingu wa Mutharika (2004 to 2012) and Joyce Banda (2012 to 2014), said development is only assured in constituencies with ruling party legislators.
During a campaign rally in Lilongwe Msozi North Constituency on Wednesday ahead of the October 17 by-elections, Mutharika asked the people to vote for DPP candidate Bruno Daka.
Said the President: “I will inform Admarc to open another market within next week… We will construct girls’ hostels, a police unit, roads and many more developments will come to this area. But first, choose Bruno Daka as your MP.
“He will bring to me all the problems that you are facing here and with my Cabinet ministers, we will discuss ways of solving them…”
DPP secretary general Greselder Jeffrey, vice-president (Central Region) Hetherwick Ntaba and regional governor Dini Josaya-Banda echoed the President’s sentiments that Lilongwe Msozi North Constituency will only see meaningful development if they elect the governing party’s candidate.
DPP officials also went to town on Malawi Congress Party candidate Sosten Gwengwe, who contested the May 20 2014 Tripartite Elections as running mate to Joyce Banda.
Mkamanga commended Mutharika for not joining his party officials who bitterly attacked Gwengwe over what seemed personal issues.
Lilongwe Msozi North Constituency fell vacant following the death of its hitherto representative Highton Jiya.
Apart from this constituency, the by-elections will also take place in Lilongwe City South East and Nsanje-Lalanje constituencies, Mtsiriza, Makata and Mayani wards in Lilongwe, Blantyre and Dedza, respectively. n