There was panic among the Democratic Progressive Party(DPP) officials and it;s supporters at Chibanja Ward on Tuesday in Mzuzu city constituency during the submission of nomination papers for the forthcoming byelection whose function took place at the New Jerusalem school .
Returning Officer Lobo Tembo announced that the DPP candidate George Manda was on the verge of being disqualified from contesting in the by-elections slated for August 25 unless some things on his nomination papers were corrected.
Before the announcement was done, the writing was on the wall that something on the table where the certification process was being done went wrong.
All the jovial mood and pomp, the smiling faces disappeared unceremoniously. Consultations were seen taking place, others were on phones as they left the room one by-one cracking brains to rescue the situation.
The DPP district governor for Mzuzu, Aston Msukwa who was also former Mzuzu Stadium supervisor was seen sweating and pointing an accusing finger at the returning officer but later things normalized after some party members rushed home to get the fresh certificates. Fortunately the drama unfolded in the morning hours ad closing was at 4:00pm.
When they were certified fit, there was handclapping and ululation bringing back their smiles.
In an interview, Tembo said :“For one to contest people must nominate you, so, seven nominees of George out of ten were fit but the three failed the test as their voting certificates were of the 2009 elections when we needed registered voters of 2014 or 2015 in our electoral system hence you saw the panic.”
It was not only the DPP candidate who was locked in a similar drama but also Ulaya Kaunda of the Mafunde Party.
Those that submitted without challenges included the Malawi Congress Party’s Charles Mlogera, Alliance for Democracy’s Gibson Chisale, Peoples Party’s Blackson Gondwe, Esmey Zinthambo Jere of Umodzi Party and independent candidate Mike Phiri.
Independent candidates William Mbale, Isaac Kalimandanda, Hope Mande, Mclean Tembo withdrew from the race. Other independent candidates Benedicto Israel Tembo and Rev. Christopher Kammasamba were disqualified for not submitting by 4:00pm.
MEC is conducting the Local Government By-elections in Chibanja ward because councilor Charles Nyirongo who was duly elected during the 2014 May 20 Tripartite Elections died.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :