United Transformation Movement (UTM) and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) have condemned Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) silence on campaign material vandalism.

The two, who are the main challengers of governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) have blamed MEC for not stopping the vandalism of their campaign material nationwide.

MCP and UTM have also blamed Malawi Police for not responding with urgency on matters concerning opposition parties.

MCP secretary general Eisenhower Mkaka and UTM Party director of publicity Joseph Chidanti Malunga, in separate interviews, pointed fingers at both MEC and the police for giving a blind eye to their concerns.

In his words Mkaka said at least two of their billboards worth K2 million have been destroyed whilst MEC and Police are holding their silence.

“So far, our billboard at Kwacha Roundabout in Blantyre has been destroyed this week. Another one at Clock Tower in the same city was also defaced,” He said.

Mkaka added; “We informed MEC on both cases, but it is surprising that while our billboards are being targeted those of the DPP are being guarded by the police. Yet no one has been arrested for the destruction of our campaign materials.”

On his part Malunga said the party’s billboard in Nkhotakota had also fallen prey to political hooligans who defaced it.

“We have lost one billboard and the police are not even investigating the issues. One in Karonga was about to be destroyed but the community chased the people who wanted to destroy it. There is still no word from MEC. But you wonder why it has only to be the ruling party enjoying this kind of protection to its campaign materials.”

Commenting on the matter MEC chairperson for electoral services Jean Namathanga said they haven’t received any complaint from the concerned parties.

 “We have only heard about the issues in the media, like everyone else. Our expectation is that those that have complaints should formally write us explaining in detail what happened. However, these matters are criminal in nature as such the police have to play their role.”

Meanwhile, police patrol officers have been sighted, especially at night, in a number of spots in Blantyre where there are campaign billboards for President Peter Mutharika, but it is not known if they were privately hired by DPP. *��e&+�

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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