One of the People’s Party (PP) aspiring parliamentary candidates for Blantyre City South has accused Minister of Information and Civic Education and MP, Moses Kunkuyu of barring aspirants to hold meetings or interact with constituents until 2014 campaign period kicks off.
Kunkuyu, three weeks ago met PP constituency officials at his home base in Manase where, among other things, he ordered them to bar any aspirant from holding meetings or initiate development projects.
His order comes following a series of development meetings one of the aspirants Sonia Ngosi has been holding in the constituency.
Ngosi is the only PP member to have so far publically declared interest to compete for the Parliamentary seat in 2014 tripartite elections.
Several officials, who attended the meeting, confirmed to Nyasa Timesthat the minister issued the directive in order to consolidate his position and dwindling popularity in the constituency.
“The way he spoke, you could tell he is not happy having contenders. It was all a surprise for us considering the fact that he is doing nothing to secure his seat, instead he wants to monopolize the constituency rather than giving people chance to analyze every aspirant,” said one official.
The officials revealed that Kunkuyu warned of unspecified action if the constituency chairpersons allow the aspirants continue with their development agendas and interacting with the constituents.
“We believe it is all coming from the meetings one of the aspirants Mrs. Ngosi has been holding in the constituency. Because the way the minister put it, it was clear he is not comfortable with Ngosi’s initiatives,” added the official.
But in an interview Kunkuyu while denying issuing the order, said he was willing to work with any aspirant to develop the constituency.
“I don’t remember meeting any party officials and making such order. I cannot do that. If such order is to be made, will come from the party, but as far as am concerned PP can’t issue such directive. I am more than ready to work with any aspirant to ensure that the constituency is developed. And if any person is willing to contest for the parliamentary seat, let them do so,” Kunkuyu said.
Ngosi while accusing Kunkuyu of monopoly described her meetings with constituency as part of familiarization initiative.
“The MP has failed to develop the area and now he wants to oppress us because we are willing to take over and give the constituency the development it deserves? I feel that is not the right way of doing things. All what I am doing is to familiarize myself with the constituents. How am I going to be voted if they don’t know me? And how will I be able to assist in development if I don’t meet the people and know their expectations?” questioned Ngosi.
Ngosi said following the order, she has temporarily suspended her meetings but was quick to say, will resume next year.
“I can challenge I will win the primary elections based on response I get from the constituents and Mr. Kunkuyu knows it that is why he is trying to oppress us in order for him to win the primary elections,” she said.
In earlier interview with Nyasa Times PP’s spokesperson, Ken Msonda advised the party officials to work together in order avoid creating unnecessary tension inconstituencies.
Msonda said since the party has not held any primary elections to select its 2014 shadow MPs, there was a need for current MPs to work together with aspiring individuals for the best interest of the party.
“As a party we cannot expel people because they are supporting somebody who is interested to represent us come 2014. Legally, the current MPs are ones holding the Parliamentary position until their period is finished. And until then I will advise the party officials to ensure that both aspiring and current MPs are working together,” Msonda said.
Msonda said if any person would like to conduct development activities should do so in the name of the party not individually.
“To avoid creating confusion, all those aspiring to contest in the 2014 primary elections should they need to construct or conduct any development initiative, should do so in the name of the party. We can’t allow people doing things individually when there is PP sitting MPs in such constituencies.
“They rather do that under the banner of the party. But in the areas where there is no sitting MP for PP, then people are allowed to conduct any development activity but in the manner that does not destroy or demarcate the party,” he added.
PP has only one legally voted MP in Parliament, the lest have been defecting to the party since President Joyce Banda got into power in April this year following the death of former President late Bingu wa Mutharika.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :