Commissioner of Police responsible for the Eastern Region, Arlene Baluwa, has said many female candidates in the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections have complained about harassment during campaign.
Speaking in Balaka on Saturday during an awareness meeting, Baluwa said the Mangochi incident where a woman was stripped naked for wearing a UTM Party cloth prompted police to launch an initiative to protect female aspirants.
“We urge all female candidates, supporters and all other women to report any form of abuse or harassment during the elections period. Female aspirants, just like men, should exercise their right to participate in politics without fear of being harassed by anybody,” she said.
Balaka District Council director of planning and development Obed Mwalughali said the District Election Liaison Committee is mandated to handle any election complaints including harassment of women aspirants. He urged everyone being harassed to make use of the forum.
“Most of the time women are discouraged from political participation by actions of some men. So, the awareness seeks to discourage and eliminate that,” he said.
The women contesting in Balaka include Rivirivi Ward aspiring councillor Iness Munde-Mateka (Democratic Progressive Party-DPP), parliamentary candidates Ireen Mambala and Bertha Ndewele (DPP), Shanil Dzimbiri and Mercy Dossa (UTM Party).