By Elijah Phompho, MEC Stringer
Former president Joyce Banda has blamed the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for frustrating opposition political campaign rallies by arranging parallel meetings, which has the potential to fuel political violence among supporters that can destabilize the upcoming elections.
President Joyce Banda, who is also the leader for People’s Party (PP) that is in Tonse Alliance alongside other nine opposition parties, said DPP is not ready for the fresh presidential elections as it is aware it is heading towards defeat hence it is devising all meens possible to frustrate the process.
Speaking at a Tonse alliance rally at Ngabu in Chikwawa on Surtady where Member of Parliament for the area, Abida Mia was handing over 40 sawing machines deserving beneficiaries, President Banda blamed the DPP authorities by organising another political rally at Miseu Folo, some five kilometers from Ngabu.
She said knowing that supporters of both parties were expected to criss cross each other on their way to and from the venues of their respective rallies, the situation would have resulted into provocation if the Tonse Alliance members had not exercised restraint.
She also said that DPP authorities also frustrated a rally she was supposed to conduct alongside other opposition party presidents on Thursday at Naisi in Zomba by holding their rally at the same vanue which made the Tonse Alliance to shift theirs to Friday.
“Today they have also organized another rally after hearing that we will be having ours here,” she said. “We were willing to postpone our rally if they had planned to hold theirs at this venue.
“We know their desperate ploy is to fuel violence among our supporters inorder to prevent the upcoming elections but we are not going to give in to their provocation,” JB said.
Secretary general for UTM Party, Patricia Kaliati also concurred with President Joyce Banda, saying DPP is shaken with the Tonse Alliance as evidenced by the First Lady, Gertrude Mutharika joining the campaign by a rally in Balaka earlier in the week.
There has not been an immediate comment from the DPP on the matter as the regional governor for the party Charles Mchacha and party spokesperson Nicholaus Dausi could not be reached on phone.
During an interactive meeting in Mzuzu with the party’s districts and constituencies officials drawn from the Northern Region held last Wednesday, DPP’s National Governing Council members asked its supporters to practice violence-free campaign.
DPP’s secretary general, Greselder Jeffrey said urged the party’s supporters to desist from any form of violence and focus on telling people what the party intends to do to develop the region.
“This is time for us to start selling to people our development agenda rather than wasting time in propagating political violence or hate speeches.
“People will vote for us if we address development issues which they face in their localities,” Jeffrey said.
She then asked opposition political parties to emulate the gesture set by the governing party to also urge their supporters to stick to issue-based campaign.
Notable dignitaries present at the meeting included DPP Vice-president for the North, Goodall Gondwe; DPP treasurer general, Jappie Mhango; DPP Regional Governor for the North, Christopher Mzomera Ngwira; top party member Leston Mulli and former regional governor for the North, Kenneth Sanga.
In a recent survey conducted by Afro barometer, a leading Pan African research network, the MCP-UTM Alliance has been projected to lead the forthcoming fresh polls with 44% while the DPP-UDF Alliance was trailing with 34%.
None of the alliances got the required 50+1 of the total votes cast through the survey.