Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Malawi Elections:MESN condemns violence at political rallies

The Malawi Electoral Support Network (MESN) has added its voice in condemning the violence that erupted at President Joyce Banda’s mass rally in Thyolo on Sunday that resulted in the death of two people, a civilian and a police officer. In a press statement made available to the Malawi News Agency (Mana) signed by its Chairperson,  Steve  Duwa, MESN  described the fracas  as uncalled for and very unfortunate saying the malpractice would prohibit people from  participating further in any electoral processes.

“This is very unfortunate and as MESN, we strongly condemn any form of violence in the run-up to the May 20 tripartite elections as that has the potential to scare away voters from participating further in the electoral processes that would help them make informed choices of their leaders,” said Duwa in the  statement. He then called on political party leaders to advise their supporters to avoid violence at any cost. “MESN urges political parties to advance issue based campaign. Malawi is known to be a peaceful nation and as such we condemn any leader or party that would want to turn it into a battle ground.

“MESN calls upon leaders of all political parties to desist from using the youths to attack their opponents in the name of political campaign,” he said. He also urged leaders of political parties to desist from using hate speeches when addressing their supporters saying hate speeches are a recipe for violence.“Malawians are tired of political leaders who promote hate speeches. Malawians want clean politicians who will bring hope to their suffering and pain.“At 50 now, the country has not benefitted anything from hate speeches and violence. Instead, innocent lives have been lost. MESN asks law enforcers to do their work professionally and bring to justice perpetrators of violence without fear or bias,” advised the chairperson.

Meanwhile, the Malawi Police Service has promised to intensify security during campaign periods that would grant an opportunity for Malawians to freely participate in the forthcoming elections, according to National Spokesperson, Rhoda Manjolo.The Malawi Electoral Support Network (MESN) is a registered and accredited civil society network by the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) with a membership of 27 civil society organizations. Formed in 2003, MESN has so far participated in the 2004 and 2009 parliamentary and presidential elections. 

Source: Malawi News Agency

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