Jooma asks UDF to clear controversy over his candidature

One of  two parliamentary candidates for the opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) in Zomba-Thondwe constituency , Kassam Jooma, is making a strong appeal to the party officials  to iron out misunderstandings surrounding his candidature.

Jooma claims that he was duly endorsed by the party authorities after primary elections but was surprised to receive communication from the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) that UDF has dropped his candidature.

“I went unopposed during the party’s primary elections and subsequently I received a nomination letter from the party which led UDF to submit my name the electoral body”, Jooma told Nyasa Times.

Kassam Jooma: I am confused
Kassam Jooma: I am confused

He said after going through necessary processes, he received a communication from MEC that his candidature has been rejected because UDF is no longer sponsoring him.

A letter from UDF addressed to MEC which Nyasa Time has sourced dated 19th February, 2014 signed by the party’s Secretary General, Kandi Padambo, requests MEC to replace Jooma with Agnes Nasawa.

“We write to formally submit our request to replace Mr. Kassam Jooma as our candidate for Zomba Thondwe with Miss Agnes Nasawa who won our primary elections.

“There were a breakdown in communication resulting in Mr Jooma collecting and submitting nomination forms before the primary elections were held which were won by Miss Agnes Nasawa,” reads part of the letter.

The letter therefore, requested the commission to allow the process of nomination papers of Miss Nasawa.

“We formally write to seek your indulgence to allow the due processing of the attached nomination papers of Miss Agnes Nasawa who is our legitimate parliamentary candidate endorsed by our members in Zomba Thondwe constituency”, the letter concludes.

But responding to the development Jooma expressed his surprise saying UDF did not summon him to hear his side of the story.

“I am the right candidate even the party president Atupele Muluzi introduced me to the audience when he recently visited Zomba Nsondole. Had it been that there are some changes they (UDF officials) would have told me before making a decision to MEC ,” Jooma said.

Jooma then pleaded with UDF officials to settle the situation before it get out of hands.

‘Am pleading with UDF to solve the problem amicably as time is passing and this will negatively affect the party’s preparations for the forth coming tripartite elections,” said Jooma.

When asked what actions he is going to take, Jooma said he is still praying to meet the party’s chief executive to map the way forward.

During the 2009 parliamentary election UDF managed to win only 16 members of parliament the development allegedly attributed to imposition of candidates to the people.

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