Malawi’s Vice President who is also UTM torchbearer in the Tripartite Elections currently underway, Dr Saulos Chilima has cast his vote with an appeal to all Malawians to continue preaching peace as they go to vote in their large numbers.
Chilima who voted at St Thomas Commercial School at Area 18 in Lilongwe said Malawi has always been known as a peaceful nation hence the need to uphold that peace.
A few weeks ago, presidential candidates signed a Peace Declaration with the Public Affairs Committee (PAC) to uphold peace during and after the elections.
The Vice President said such a declaration should guide all parties and their supporters to maintain peace and order during this period and beyond.
“I hope everybody signed the Peace Declaration with their hearts and not with their fingers so that when results are announced life must go on. There can only be one winner and everybody must accept,” he said.
He told the media that there are two messages that he has to tell Malawians on voting day today.
“First is that all those of us who registered to vote let us go and vote, it is our right, it is our responsibility. Secondly let us continue to be calm and keep peace. Our expectation is that everything happening today will be peaceful and will end peacefully,” he said.
Chilima who becomes the first Vice President to vie for the Presidential office without contesting in the parliamentary race, described the turnout at the centre where he voted as impressive and hopes that the situation is as such in all places of the country throughout the day.
Earlier on Chilima’s name was missing from the list of registered voters at St Thomas Commercial School Polling Station. It took over 30 minutes for Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) polling staff to clear him and vote.
However, he seemed composed despite that hiccup saying it is one of those things which happen.
“It happens so I just stayed patient. I knew I was still going to vote because I registered. So there was no pressure at all,” he said.
He hopes that the electoral process will be fair and smooth saying should there be any issues they will be raised through the rightful channels.
Before Chilima went to cast his vote he attended a morning mass service at St Patrick’s Parish at Area 18 in Lilongwe.
Malawians across the country are today casting their votes to elect ward councillors, members of parliament and president who will govern the country for the next five years.