Cleric wins Aford primaries for Mzuzu City

Apostle Mchellings Kayala will represent the Alliance for Democracy (Aford) in Mzuzu City as its parliamentary candidate after flooring former Publicity Secretary Dan Msowoya in hastily arranged first ever primaries Aford has organised in the run up to May 20 tripartite polls.

Throughout the country, Aford endorsed those that shown interest to stand on its ticket without holding primaries because there were no competitors.

Malawi Electoral Commission opened the nomination process for candidates from January 16 to February 14, 2014.

Msowoya, blindfolded during voting

Msowoya, blindfolded during voting

While submission for the same commenced on February 10 and will close on February 14, 2014. For the May 20, 2014 tripartite elections 193 constituencies and 462 wards are up for grabs.

Apostle Kayala, proprietor of Blessings Academy, pulled 89 votes against 54 for Msowoya at the bitterly fought primaries held at the Mzuzu Youth Hall on Monday.

Chairperson for the elections, who is also Aford National Campaign director Boyeke Munthali, said Aford was forced to hold primaries in Mzuzu because Kayala had shown interest to contest.

But sources told Nyasa Times that Aford mercurial President Enock Chihana and his charges were not comfortable to let Msowoya go unopposed or campaign for him for the May polls.

Recently, the High Court in Mzuzu endorsed the electoral victory for Chihana which was ‘frozen’ following a Court order Msowoya obtained because irregularities in the electoral process at the party’s national convention from 6-7th September, 2013 at Mary Mount Secondary School in Mzuzu.

Chihana’s relationship with Msowoya has never been rosy as the duo has always clashed on matters of party policy and interpretation of the party’s constitutional provisions.

Before the elections Munthali urged the delegates to vote for a philanthropic candidate saying Aford did not want liabilities.

“Court actions are destroying the party and we would not want litigation after the elections,” he said.

Although Aford constitution provides for voting by secret ballot delegates overruled that provision and opted to stand behind their preferred candidate.

Timid Party officials had to draft a hand written agreement which both candidates signed for voting procedure as per delegates’ dictate.

After the votes, Msowoya said the fact that the majority had spoken did not mean that they had chosen the right candidate.

“Apart from that we have broken our own rules and with that that marks my end working with Aford,” Msowoya said.

While the victor, Apostle Kayala said there is need for all Aford members to work together if the party was to clinch the Mzuzu City Constituency.

“I have been an Aford member since 1994 but not an active one because i did not want my businesses to be suffocated,” said Kayala.

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