Another loss. The ruling People’s Party (PP) continue to count in losses as its two senior members, Publicity Secretary, Hophmally Makande adecided to contest on independent Parliamentary tickets.
The development comes amidst news of the appointment of Minister of Trade, Sosten Gwengwe as running-mate to President Joyce Banda, which caught most of the senior members off-guard.
Makande confirmed to Nyasa Times in an exclusive interview that he has filed his nomination papers to contest as independent candidate for Mangochi-MonkeBay constituency.
However, Makande who lost primary elections to Minister Ralph Jooma earlier this year, was quick to point out that his decision does not mean he is out of the ruling party.
He defended his decision as part of strategy to retain voters who got frustrated with his loss during primary elections.
“People don’t understand May 20th tripatite elections that are complex. You see senior officials vying for presidency and I for one, I have to come up with a workable strategy. It’s not that I have quit the party, no, but am doing it for the President Joyce Banda,” Makande said.
He added: “Those who support me lost hope and got frustated with what happened during primaries. I have to do something as President Banda once said, Manuna mzako mpachulu, I have to prove myself as a man against my adversaries”.
Makande said his decision was only way to drum up more support for President Banda, adding “my followers told me they will only vote for Banda if I contest as a Parliamentary candidate”.
Asked why not supporting the party’s endorsed candidate, Jooma instead, Makande argued “It is diffucult to change people who already made their mind to support me”.
“I want President Banda to win and I believe even with the minimal number of followers I command, it can still make a difference. This is all for the President”.
Makande who is implicated in the cashgate scandal insisted he is still member of PP despite the party’s recent declaration that it will not entertain members who choose to contest on independent ticket.
PP officials early this year declared Jooma as the party’s candidate for Mangochi-MonkeyBay constituency after, the party ruled out a run-off of primary elections which were reported to have been won by Makande.
Makande filed his nomination papers on Friday same day .
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