The Electoral Commission (EC) on Thursday launched the official campaign period for by-elections in Mzimba which will take place on October 9 this year.
The by-elections will take place in Mzimba Central Constituency in northern Malawi following the death of its parliamentarian, Professor Donton Mkandawire, and in Mzimba South West Constituency, whose MP, Khumbo Kachali, was appointed the countryâ€™s Vice-President.
Six candidates are contesting in Mzimba Central. They are Aram Mdala Wedson Beza (Peopleâ€™s Party), Joseph Mabvuto Kachali (independent), Dennis Kandodo Mvula (independent), Owen Mkandawire (Democratic Progressive Party), Bonfancio VVK Chidumayo Ngulube (New Rainbow Coalition) and Enita W Njolwa (Alliance for Democracy).
In Mzimba South West, four candidates namely Leonard Chavula (DPP), Baxter Revival Mazunda (independent), Raymond Chatima Nkhata (PP) and James Nthara (independent) are contesting. A fifth candidate, Maggie Chipeta (United Democratic Front), was rejected because she did not submit all the necessary documents as required by law, according to EC chairperson Anastasia Msosa.
Speaking when she launched the campaign at Edingeni Teachers Development Centre (TDC) in Mzimba, Msosa appealed for a fair campaign to avoid violence.
â€œLet me appeal to political parties and candidates to refrain from using language which is inflammatory, defamatory, insulting or that which would incite disorder, hate, violence or war,â€ said Msosa.
She said in the past there are people who faced problems for using such language during elections. Msosa, however, did not elaborate.
â€œCharacter assassination is not a tool for winning votes, it only discredits individuals. I would, therefore, like to call upon all candidates to concentrate on issues which will benefit their constituents and not personalities,â€ said Msosa, adding that all candidates should campaign freely.