Ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has challenged opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) that it will not penetrate the northern region saying people have not forgotten the stigma and atrocities they suffered during its one-party rule.
The DPP leaders were speaking Saturday during a rally President Peter Mutharika held at Mpherembe Community Day Secondary School ground in Mzimba District.
Member of Parliament for Mzimba Hora Christopher Mzomera Ngwira said people in the region had not forgotten how they were sidelined by the MCP regime.
“People you are seeing here have not forgotten that MCP called this region ‘dead North’.
“They have not also forgotten that most intelligent and charismatic leaders from the region were assassinated by the former regime,” he said without naming the dead.
“What we need here is tangible development that we are already witnessing; and we want this to continue under the DPP and your leadership,” Ngwira added.
The party’s regional governor Kenneth Sanga said in the forthcoming tripartite elections, the party will scoop all the 11 parliamentary seats in Mzimba District.
“People will vote for you because of the various development projects your government has implemented here in the north,” he said telling Mutharika.
Taking his turn, DPP’s treasurer general (TG) Jappie Mhango said DPP has proven that it is a party for all regions as evidenced by crucial positions given to northerners in both party and government.
“I am a good example. I’m the newly elected TG for the party besides being a government minister; there are many other northerners in crucial positions,” Mhango said.
The DPP’s publicity secretary Nicholas Dausi concurred with Mhango saying during the MCP regime, there were some key positions that were not given to a northerner such as the Ministry of Finance.
“For instance, the Ministry of Works is a big ministry that was never given to a northerner. It was mostly a portfolio for the president but, today, you have given it to Jappie from the North.
“I was in MCP and I know the history of the MCP better; nobody should cheat you,” Dausi said.
In her remarks, DPP’s secretary general Griezedar Jeffrey said the history should be told to the youth so that they know where the country is coming from.
“Parents have a responsibility to tell their children the history of this country,” she said.
However, since Lazarus Chakwera became president of the MCP, he has insisted that it is a changed party with new policies in line with the current democratic era.
Malawi will go to polls in May 2019 to elect president, MPs and ward councilors.
During the 2014 tripartite elections that ushered Mutharika into office, the DPP won more parliamentary seats than the MCP in the northern region.
President Mutharika, who seeks another term of office on DPP ticket, urged eligible people to register with Malawi Electoral Commission to enable them vote in the polls.
“I will stand again and I will win the elections. Go and register for you to vote in the forthcoming elections,” he said.
Mutharika is in the north since last week to fulfill a number of government engagements. Among others, he officially opened newly rehabilitated Mzuzu-Nkhata Bay Road.
He also presided over the ground-breaking ceremony of Rumphi-Nyika-Nthalire-Chitipa Road at Bolero in Rumphi District.
(MacCarthy Mwalwimba /Mana)