The internal squabbling in the ruling People’s Party (PP) is refusing to go with latest revelations indicating that its Secretary General, Paul Maulidi, reversed authentic results of primary polls for Blantyre Rural West Constituency in order to field a candidate of his choice to represent the party during the May 20 elections.
Five people, who included George Kajumo, Timothy Phimba, Elias Maziya, Patricia Malinki and Adija Mdala, contested in the primaries under the PP ticket.
According to official results, Phimba won with 1656 votes seconded by Mdala who amassed 1558. Kajumo was third with 772 then Maziya (655) and Malinki (458). The results were confirmed by the returning officer, Edgar Chipalanjira, who presented them to the party after the counting process.
Votes from four centres- Michiru, Yimbwa, Khombwe and Mbengwe- were declared null and void because of various irregularities.
However, Kajumo did not accept the polls’ outcome claiming he was robbed of victory and appealed to the party for a rerun.
“I wrote the secretary general [Maulidi] complaining about the results because I was convinced that I had won. So he invited all of us [aspirants] to a hearing on January 15,” said Kajumo.
It was during that meeting where Maulidi reportedly took the voided votes from the four centers and added them to Mdala, who came second, before declaring her the winner.
Mdalla is wife to Yusuf Mwawa, a former senior cabinet minister who made history during the late Bingu wa Mutharika’s reign to be convicted and thrown in jail for theft by public servant.
The former minister is now PP’s Deputy Director of Strategic Planning and will contest as parliamentarian for Balaka Central East on the party’s ticket.
Maulidi is reported to have further challenged the other four contestants “to shut up” or leave the party if they so wished.
The secretary general also allegedly told the disgruntled aspirants that “even if your people in Chileka [Blantyre Rural West Constituency] do not vote for our President Joyce Banda, she will still sail through without them.”
The remarks are said to have angered Traditional Authority Kunthembwe who upon hearing the news phoned the vice president (Khumbo Kachali) to complain about the Maulidi’s “slurs” on his people.
“The people of Chileka are angry with Maulidi’s conduct and they are demanding an apology from him. The president [Joyce Banda] and her deputy [Khumbo] are aware of the matter but they have remained silent,” Kajumo told Nyasa Times.
In an interview, T/A Kunthembwe could neither confirm nor disprove the development saying she was not interested in discussing politics.
Meanwhile, the four disgruntled losing aspirants have dumped the ruling party in a bid to still find an opportunity to stand as parliamentarians.
Kajumo, who was one of the favourites, has defected to the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), Malinki has gone to Peoples Progressive Movement (PPM) while Phimba has been persuaded to stand as an independent candidate.
MCP is scheduled to hold its primaries in the constituency on Sunday, February 2 and Kajumo is expected to compete with two other contenders.
Several other PP members have dumped the ruling party after being frustrated by some senior officials (including President Banda) who want to place their favoured candidates.
Among the members who have ditched the party are Sam Ganda in Nsanje Lalanje Constituency (also sitting parliamentarian), deputy speaker of Parliament, Jones Chingola, who lost in Ntcheu Central (also incumbent MP) and Benet Mankhanamba, who was director of elections for Eastern Region and was standing in Balaka West.
Others are Bernadette Mlaka Maliro in Chikhwawa Central where (incumbent MP) and Naomi Chidiwa Manjakaisi for Ntcheu West who was replaced by Chikumbutso Hiwa, deputy minister of health and current parliamentarian for the area.
In the meantime, the People’s Party has announced it will not conduct any re-runs in all the disputed constituencies.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :