The Civil Society Education Coalition (Csec) has accused presidential candidates in the May 20 Tripartite Elections of cheating Malawians through pledges to abolish the quota system of selecting students to public institutions of higher learning.
Csec says its argument is based on the premise that none of the party manifestos states any abolishment of the system.
Presidential candidates in the coming elections have been claiming that they will end the quota system of selecting students into public universities.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) implemented the system despite facing resistance and the system is yet to be abolished.
During a rally in Mzimba on Monday, State Vice-President Khumbo Kachali also tried to woo support for DPP presidential candidate Peter Mutharika by telling people from the Northern Region that of all the candidates, only Mutharika has shown interest to abolish the quota system.
However, Csec executive director Benedicto Kondowe on Tuesday said the pledges by presidential candidates to end quota system are a mere campaign gimmick.
He said no party has committed itself to ending the quota system as reflected in their manifestos.
Said Kondowe: “During the rallies, almost every presidential candidate says they will abolish the quota system, but if you check their manifestos, there is no mention of ending the quota system.
“Abolishing of the quota system has become a campaign tool. The candidates just want to blind people to get votes.”
People’s Party provincial chairperson (North) the Reverend Christopher Ngwira, who was suspended from DPP when he protested the quota system in Parliament, said Mutharika cannot end the quota system when he failed to advise his brother, former president the late Bingu wa Mutharika, that the system was inflicting pain on others.
Ngwira said Mutharika will only strengthen implementation of the system after noting that President Joyce Banda is in the process of phasing it out.
Ngwira warned people from the North against trusting Kachali, arguing he supported introduction of the quota system and masterminded the expulsion of three MPs, including Ngwira, who protested against the system.