DPP takes electoral battering in Mzimba polls

Former ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) failed to recapture Mzimba South West and Mzimba Central constituencies when it took a severe battering in the Tuesday’s by-elections.

Raymond Nkhata of Peoples’ Party (PP) won Mzimba South West by wide margin while Mabvuto Kachali an Independent candidate – but a member of PP’s Orange Partners – claimed the Mzimba central seat.

The two by-elections in were seen as a test of the opposition party’s political stamina to but in the end emphasizes PP’s grip in Mzimba where Vice President Khumbo Kachali come from and its  grip on the rural electorate.

Losing ticket: DPP team, from left is Ngwira, Peter Mutharika, Goodall Gondwe and candidate Owen Mkandawire

Analysts say DPP which claimed the northern region was its bedroom when it was in power  needs “deliverance and repair in the eyes of voters” a fter abusing Malawians when it governed the country.DPP regional governor for the North, Reverend Christopher Ngwira, accused Malawi’s Vice-President Khumbo Kachali of influencing voters on the polling day.

Ngwira claimed Kachali, who is also Malawi’s ruling People’s Party (PP) vice-president (Operations), slaughtered two cows for voters and distributed money to people at polling centres, saying that “assisted voting.”

The Vice President’s spokesman Kondwani Munthali said DPP should be ready to accept the loss instead of always arguing, saying parties should lose honourably.

But the electorate in Mzimba said they would not give DPP the seats because memories ae stlill fresh in their minds on the slaughter of 20 hapless Malawians who were gunned down by DPP’s police on July 20 last year when their only crime was protesting the late Bingu wa Mutharika’s misrule.

The voters who Nyasa Times spoke t claimed DPP made people’s lives hell with maladministration.

They imagine where Malawi would have been if there were no change of leadership in April necessitated by the death of Bingu.

Official results will be announced by Malawi Electoral Commission on Wednesday.

Mzimba Central fell vacant following the death of Prof Donton Mkandawire, a DPP MP while Mzimba South-West following the election of incumbent MP Khumbo Kachali to the vice-presidency.

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