Fracas in Phalombe as DPP dumps candidate, fires constituency committee

Fracas ensued between opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) supporters and officials in Phalombe South Constituency on Tuesday following party’s decision to dump legitimately elected Parliamentary candidate, John Joswah in favour of second best, Mary Mpanga.

The fracas erupted when some party officials who included Aaron Sangala led by Ngozi Harawa of DPP Southern Region office visited the constituency to declare Mpanga winner in place of Joswah who won the primary elections on December 3rd, 2013.

Joswah outclassed four other contestants in the primaries with a landmark of 1,009 votes against the party’s favoured Mpanga-652 votes who came second.

Dausi: Joshua is weak candidate
Dausi: Joshua is weak candidate

According to confirmed reports, Sangala and his colleague got a rude awakening when they were attacked by angry constituents with his official car smashed in the process before seeking refuge for close to four hours at Phalombe Police.

The incident Nyasa Times has established was fuelled by earlier decision by DPP’s Southern Region Governor, Noel Masangwi to unilaterally dissolve and replace constituency committee members for opposing his views of imposing Mpanga as party’s May 20th Parliamentary candidate.

Masangwi has funded rentals for a new office for the new committee and is said to have also sponsored interrupted celebrations to endorse Mpanga’s man-made victory on Tuesday.

Masangwi could not answer his phone since Wednesday when Nyasa Times contacted him but DPP Publicity Secretary, Nicholas Dausi while playing down the fracas admitted Mpanga is the party’s favourite candidate to help it win May 20th elections.

“I have not yet been informed of the incident. Let me establish what really happened,” said Dausi who regarded Joswah as weak candidate to represent the party.

Dausi however added: “Joswah once lost primary elections in 2009, and as the party, based on assessment made on the ground, Mpanga is the one who is stronger and has huge support to help us win elections”.

Constituency Secretary Overton Chilupsya has since threatened to hold vigil at DPP president, Professor Peter Mutharika’s house if the officials do not relent on their move to declare Mpanga winner instead of Joswah.

“They want to replace our democratically elected parliamentary candidate with one nominated by him-Masangwi. Surprisingly most of district and constituency officials have been kept in the dark about these developments. We are planning a vigil at the President’s house in Nyambadwe until our democratic rights are respected,” explained Chilupsya.

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