Minister Hiwa tumbles in PP primaries: Results witheld as Chidiwa faces court case

The ruling People’s Party (PP) on Tuesday suspended primary elections results from Ntcheu West constituency after an aspiring Parliamentarian who emerged winner, Naomi Chidiwa was faulted of conspiracy and assaulting the party’s councillor on Saturday.

Chidiwa who trounced Minister of Education, Chikumbutso Hiwa in the primaries, is said to have assaulted PP’s councillor, Edson Manda on Saturday with the case currently in court.

The party held disciplinary hearing on Tuesday at its offices in Blantyre over the assault incident as well as disputed primary results following reports implicating Chidiwa of conspiracy.

Maulidi: Results withheld
Maulidi: Results withheld

Chidiwa confirmed of the hearing on Tuesday evening but later on changed her tune feigning ignorance of the meeting. Hiwa while acknowledging attending the hearing, referred the issue to the party’s executive officials.

Acting Secretary General, Paul Maulidi who chaired the panel also confirmed of the hearing in an interview but could not divulge more details on what transpired.

But one of the officials revealed that the party has, at mean time, withheld the primary elections results until Chidiwa is cleared on some of the allegations as well as her current court cases.

According to the meeting, Chidiwa is answering to two separate court cases aside being accused of pocketing party’s money meant for supporters in Ntcheu district that was donated by President Joyce Banda.

“The panel noted that she has cases in court. One on accusations that she smashed honourable Hiwa’s official vehicle, and second one is the assault case. But it was also noted that she pocketed K60, 000 out of K150,000 President Joyce Banda gave her as ‘hand-out’ for supporters in the district,” disclosed the official.

During the hearing, it was also noted that Chidiwa conspired with some of the officials in the constituency to implicate her opponent of vote rigging.

“It has been agreed during the hearing that the matter be further deliberated at the party’s executive level before deciding on her fate. So as it stands, the primary elections results, which she was unofficially declared a winner have been suspended,” said the official.

On Monday Chidiwa said she fled her home for fear of her life, and that of children and siblings, due to death threats.

“I am currently in hiding somewhere in Lilongwe. I was escorted by police to Lizulu at midnight. I fear for my life,” said Chidiwa from her hiding place.

Ntcheu Police spokesperson Gift Matewere confirmed that Chidiwa lodged a complaint.

Matewere said Hiwa’s camp also lodged a complaint that Chidiwa roughed up an aspiring councillor.

Ntcheu West is one of the many constituencies where PP primary elections were rocked in controversies.

Associate professor of Political and Administrative Studies at Chancellor College Happy Kayuni warned that disgruntled candidates who decide to stand as independent candidates would likely split votes, hence diminish the parties’ chances of winning.

Maulidi admitted that it is not easy to prevent disgruntled candidates from standing as independents.

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