By Wanangwa Chafulumira:
As May 21 Tripartite Elections get closer, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has left no stone unturned by taking their campaign to the pulpit to ensure they remain in government after the polls.
Malawi News has established that Homeland Security Minister Nicholas Dausi, who is also DPP spokesperson, on Tuesday led a delegation that met about 250 reverends from Blantyre Synod of Church of Central Africa Presbyterian at Grace Bandawe Conference Centre in Blantyre allegedly asking the clergy to rally behind DPP.
Two sources who attended the meeting and opted for anonymity for fear of reprisals corroborated each other saying the lobby group asked the reverends to drum up support for DPP and its torch bearers President Peter Mutharika and running mate Everton Chimulirenji ahead of May 21 polls.
“I can confirm that the meeting took place on Tuesday, 12 February, at the stated venue. I was one of the people who attended the meeting,” said the source.
However, Blantyre Synod General Secretary Reverend Alex Maulana and organiser of the meeting Reverend Billy Gama dismissed the report saying the gathering was about the security of the men of collar in the synod.
“It’s a total lie that one. Dausi was there as Minister of Homeland Security but he was invited by us. Over two months or three Blantyre Synod reverends have experienced burglary sort of. Some ministers have been hacked. And one of the ministers was admitted to Nguludi Mission Hospital,” Maulana said.
He said about five ministers have been attacked recently and the synod decided to invite Inspector of General of Police Rodney Jose to see how best the ministers can be protected.
The general secretary said Dausi accompanied the IG just to be part of the deliberations.
He said violence against people with albinism was also part of the agenda of the meeting.
When asked if it is true that he held a meeting with the ministers to woo support for DPP among the clergy, Dausi declined to comment.
Our sources said government footed all the bills of the meeting including the envelopes of money that the reverends received as transport refunds.
The country’s 6.8 million registered voters will on May 21 queue to elect president and vice-president, Members of Parliament and ward councillors.
Malawi Electoral Commission (Mec) Thursday gave a nod to nine presidential candidates that the voters will have to choose from in the forthcoming elections including Mutharika.
The other candidates confirmed by Mec are Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi Congress Party, Vice-President Saulos Chilima (UTM), John Chisi (Umodzi Party), Peter Kuwani (Mbakuwaku Movement for Development), Joyce Banda (People’s Party), Atupele Muluzi (UDF), Cassim Chilumpha (Tikonze People’s Movement) and Reverend Hadwick Kaliya (independent).
In a statement dated February 14 2019 and signed by Mec Chief Elections Officer Sam Alfandika the commission disqualified National Salvation Front hopefuls Loudon Titan Malingamoyo Phiri and his running mate Ethel Vivian Makoko for failure to meet one of the minimum requirements.