PP supporters fight in Mangochi, Chikuni whisked away

Fracas erupted at Mpiripiri community ground in Mangochi North Constituency when ruling Peoples Party (PP) supporters fought disrupting a political rally the party officials had organized.

The supporters from two factions of Parliamentarian and Minister of Energy, Ibrahim Matola and an aspirant, Benedicto Chambo exchanged blows, damaging property and vehicles in the process.

PP’s deputy Secretary General, Ireen Chikuni who organized the rally had to be whisked away from the place as a heated cat-and-dog fight ensued.

Police and party officials have confirmed about the incidents that has left over 12 people seriously injured.

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When contacted, Chikuni while admitting to have organized the rally feigned ignorance of the fight.

“There was no fight. I don’t know anything about that. It was just a development meeting,” said Chikuni, who later cut off the phone  line when pressed more on the issue.

But collaborated interviews with police and some party officials, confirmed that the fight occurred.

Makanjira Police station, Officer In-charge, Albert Nyongani told Nyasa Times in an interview that no person has so far been arrested in relation to the incident.

“Although we managed to contain the situation, but no arrest has been made so far. We have instituted investigations to establish what really happened,” said Nyongani.

Nyongani said about 12 people were currently reported injured and had since been referred to the hospital for medical attention.

PP constituency governor, Goodson Banda said Chikuni had organized the rally to assure the constituents of the party’s forthcoming primary elections.

The fight, Banda said, however, ensued when Matola’s followers tried to block those believed to be from Chambo’s camp from attending the rally.

Banda said: “She wanted to also introduce the possible candidates to the elections, this is why both Matola and Chambo were invited. But Matola’s supporters started chasing those that support Mr. Chambo, closing up roads and blocking them from coming within the venue”.

He said the party’s minibus which was used to whisk Chikuni away from the fracas was stoned as well as several other vehicles.

When contacted Chambo while lamenting the incident said some of his followers were stabbed with knives as several others were beaten and stoned.

Chambo revealed that he was forced into hiding following the fight that took hours to cool off and blamed his opponent for orchestrating the fracas.

“The problem is that my colleague’s camp has been trying to blind-fold people in the area that there is no primary elections, which is not true. I don’t know why they decided to cause this fight, but come what may, I am not quitting,” explained Chambo.

He added: “The way it happened, I don’t doubt it was planned move. But this is something as a party we don’t need to be associated with. I was officially invited to attend the rally and I didn’t know, somebody planned to ambush us that way”.

Efforts to talk to Matola proved futile as he could not answer his phone.

Chambo is the only contender to compete against Matola during party’s primary elections set to choose candidates for the 2014 elections.

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