By Chalo Mvula
Thousands of people today gathered in Mzuzu where the two candidates representing the Tonse alliance Dr Lazarus Chakwera and Dr Saulos Chilima held their first mega rally. After a grand arrival that saw the two leaders welcomed by supporters from all the alliance partners, it was obvious from the start that people were hungry to hear what the two leaders had to say.
Starting the meeting with prayer from Sheikh Mvula ,a prayer that set jovial the mood for the day , other leaders of the two parties also spoke . Patricia Kaliati secretary general of UTM and Gotani Hara and Deputy Secretary general of MCP spoke highly of the alliance and thanked the two leaders for deciding to work together.
Chilima started by accusing DPP as the party that doesn’t appreciate the people that helped it . He cited the recent statement from DPP speaking ill of the judiciary just because they lost the elections case . He said DPP doesn’t respect leaders that helped to build it such as former president Dr Joyce Banda
Chilima answered some of the critics who have been questioning why he has joined the alliance “We have decided to be in alliance for the good of Malawi. There can only be one president , let me call upon everybody including my fellow UTM colleagues, lets support Dr Chakwera for the good of Malawi. We want a better Malawi that is for all and not just a few”
He went further to Warn DPP that if any attempts of rigging will not be tolerated. He called upon all people that might have sold or given their IDs to go back and collect them and that they have to contact NRB if need be . He urged all Malawians to go and vote in large numbers on 2ND July. Chilima said Tonse alliance has all the information on who registered in last years elections and that plans by DPP to burn Malawi Electoral Offices will not work .
Chilima said UTM Manifesto pledges will be brought into the alliance. He gave the example of MK4495 for a bag of fertiliser to be one of the pledges that will be honoured. He called on all politicians to campaign freely , not threatening to kill others . He warned that any political violence will have to be to be reported to international criminal court
In his speech Dr Lazarus Chakwera thanked all who played a role in the election court case . He singled out the witnesses Suleman, Bendulo and Lackson , thanked the lawyers and also the judiciary . He however cautioned the people that the battle is not over yet. “We can celebrate small victories but we have to be prepared for the bigger battles ahead “ he warned.
The Tonse alliance torch bearer questioned President Mutharika capability to be a leader . He said Mutharika is a chronic failure with a track record of failed projects and initiatives. Chakwera reminded Malawians how Mutharika failed a Minster of Education , and that during his time there was problems with academic freedom issues . He failed as Minister of Foreign affairs and in his time British Ambassador was sent home from Malawi “ Mutharika failed in last years election and had to rig , he failed at the constitutional court and misused the attorney general, He failed at the supreme court appeal and Mutharika has failed people of the north by failing to construct Mzuzu Airport and Mombera University” said Chakwera
Dr Chakwera then introduced the heart of his campaign message which he called Malawi watsopano okomela tonse, meaning a new Malawi that is for everyone. He promised Malawians that him and Dr Chilima will aim in creating jobs for Malawians with a target of 1 million jobs in the first year. He said Malawi needs to create services for the youths . He highlighted that his government will pump in money to promote women’s businesses.
Chakwera promised people in the north that his government wil try to develop the area as it has largely been neglected by the current government. He told people that his Malawi watsopano okomela tonse message is about bringing Malawi together as one nation, to avoid giving jobs to people of one region or tribe or developing just one region and ignoring the other areas.