Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Justice Jane Ansa has asked chiefs across the country to give candidates and political parties an equal opportunity to freely hold campaign rallies.
Ansa made the remarks on March 19, 2019 during the launch of the official campaign period at Bingu International Convention Center (BICC) in Lilongwe.
She further asked chiefs and other stakeholders to help in spreading the messages of peace and tolerance among their subject during the campaign period.
“As we commence the official campaign Period, chiefs are supposed to use each and every available opportunity, such as funerals, weddings and traditional dance festivals, to spread messages of peace and political tolerance among their subjects,” she said
She further added that she has been receiving reports that some traditional leaders are endorsing candidates and setting no go zone areas in their villages, for some candidates.
“This is a very sad development which should be condemned in strong terms, that allow any candidate to conduct their campaign rallies anywhere, provided they follow all the procedures,” Ansa said.
She further gave chiefs a mandate to report any candidate not adhering to the code of conduct for political parties and candidates and that no chief is allowed to receive gifts in any form in a view of persuading there subjects to vote for a particular candidate or party.
Some of chiefs that were present at the function were Paramount Lundu, Ngolongoliwa, Kyungu, Chikulamayembe, Inkosi ya Makosi Gomani and Mbelwa.
Ansa has assured the general public that MEC is determined to hold free and fair election.