By Jordan Simeon-Phiri, MEC Stringer
Former First Lady Callista Mutharika joined prominent figures who are campaigning for Frank Mwenifumbo as UTM Party candidate for the November 10 by-election in Karonga Central Constituency, saying he is the for the constituency’s development needs.
Callista told a mammoth crowd that gathered at Lupembe Primary School on Saturday that the august House requires a person who is well acquainted with parliamentary proceedings so that he connects with development partners.
“Mwenifumbo has served you before as a Member of Parliament; Mwenifumbo has served you before as a cabinet minister — therefore, he knows the doors to knock for development.
“That is why we are urging you to vote for him on November 10 so that he continues from where he stopped,” she said.
She told the voters that Mwenifumbo pledges to bring good road network in the area, portable water and make sure that drugs are available in their health facilities.
On his part, the part’s regional governor Moses Mlenga touted Mwenifumbo as an experienced and seasoned politician who has the passion of Karonga people at heart in terms of social amenities.
Mwenifumbo described his candidature as a calling to serve his people through various developments to change the socio economic face of Karonga Central and Karonga district as a whole, saying he has always committed his resources to developing the area even before becoming a Parliamentarian.
In the run up to the 2019 tripartite elections, Mwenifumbo — representing Alliance for Democracy (AFORD) teamed up with the United Democratic Front (UDF) as running mate to that party’s presidential candidate, Atupele Muluzi.
There are five candidates for Karonga Central — Mwenifumbo (UTM Party); Enerst Vitto Mwalighali (Democratic Progressive Party, DPP); Leonard Mwalwanda (Malawi Congress Party, MCP); Maryflorence Nthankomwa (Independent) and Nellie Sichali for Mbakuwaku Movement for Development (MMD).
Meanwhile, the DPP tore apart the Tonse Alliance government manifesto, claiming it has miserably failed to live to peoples’ expectations within the first 100 days, adding DPP will soon bounce back in government due to its development agenda.
Speaking at Ndomomo School DPP publicity secretary Brown Mpinganjira said the Tonse Alliance government is yet to give Malawians the one million jobs and construct 400 roads in eight months as promised.
“Malawians have now differentiated between DPP and the Tonse Alliance government as within the four months we have been out of government people have noted that this government has done completely nothing in terms of its promises,” Mpinganjira said.
“For example, they promised you three meals a day but look, they have even taken away the two meals you were taking and you only take a single meal per day.
“And again, not even a single road out of the 400 roads they promised has been constructed; the one million jobs are nowhere to be seen; the universal fertilizer program is no longer there.“
Also present was DPP’s vice president for the North, Goodall Gondwe as well as director of logistics Symon Vuwa Kaunda, who both threw their full weight behind Mwalughali.
However, UTM Party secretary general Patricia Kaliati and government spokesperson Gospel Kazako, in separate interviews, trashed Mpinganjira’s slurs, saying as a former ruling party, they have nothing new to offer to Malawians.
“DPP is crying for spilt milk as they don’t believe that they were booted out of government and it is the same people who looted government resources and failed to develop Malawi,” Kaliati said.
While Kazako said as government, their eyes are focused on the ball to rebuild a new Malawi for all adding, “we are moving forward and we have nothing to do with detractors”.
A Mzuzu based political commentator George Phiri echoed similar sentiments, saying the DPP should be able to differentiate between mere rhetoric politics and reality as over 10 years the same DPP failed to accomplish a number of developments in the country.
“The people that they talked to should be able to know that from 2014 to 2019 the DPP failed to develop Malawi. If anything, it is the Bingu wa Mutharika’s DPP that at least uplifted the face of Malawi with tangible developments.
“So, realistically, it is not possible to create one million jobs in just four months, it is not possible to implement the whole manifesto in just 100 days.
“If anything, let us give the Tonse Alliance government time to turn around the country’s fortunes,” Phiri said.