Business temporarily came to a standstill at Area 3 in Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe, Friday as Malawi Congress Party (MCP) parliamentary aspirants for Lilongwe City Central Constituency presented themselves to the party leadership.
The aspirants were introducing themselves to the MCP District Chairman for Lilongwe Urban, a Mr. Kawila, and his committee for formal registration to enable them to contest for the party’s primary elections ahead of next year’s tripartite elections.
Only three people- Alfred Jiya, Francis Phiri and Alice Chisemphere- have expressed interest to compete in the constituency and represent the country’s oldest party in parliament.
But what grabbed people’s attention was Jiya’s unassuming nature when he was chauffeured to the event, held at the party’s regional offices at Area 3, on an oxcart pulled by donkeys.
While Jiya and his wife, Jean, rode the oxcart from Mtuthama area down to the MCP offices, business around the area came to a stand still as scores of onlookers congregate to catch sight of the extraordinary phenomenon.
Tens of people lined up along the street chanting Jiya Jiya, MP wachitukuko, MP wa anthu, Jiya yemweyo kuti wawawa.
The MCP district chairman could not resist but join the fun with broad smiles seeing, for the first time in history, an aspiring Member of Parliament coming by donkeys and not posh car as is always the case.
Both his two challengers came by posh vehicles and were also at a loss of words with excitement at seeing Jiya’s drama, which was also witnessed by hundreds of people including chiefs and civil servants.
Meanwhile, some constituency committee members tried to block Jiya from registering for some unknown reasons before he was allowed to go ahead.