Mumba challenges Northern Region Chess League poll results

Former Chairperson of the Northern Region Chess League, Isaac Mumba, is challenging results of elections that were held at Ilala Crest Lodge in Mzuzu on 31st December 2016 in which he lost with 17 votes against 29 to Stanley Mtuwa.

Stanley Mtuwa (standing)

The elections were presided over by Chess Association of Malawi (CHESSAM) Executive Member, Gift Kadaluka, and CHESSAM President Kezzie Msukwa was the overseer of the whole electoral process.

Mumba argues that the Northern Region Chess League Constitution was tampered with by the CHESSAM President during the electoral process.

In the letter that he wrote to CHESSAM Secretariat challenging the results (sourced by Nyasa Times), Mumba explains that 23 eligible voters were barred from exercising their right to vote.

Article 7.6 of the Northern Region Chess League Constitution states that “All chess players shall be eligible to vote during elections in the NRCL” but according to Mumba, CHESSAM President, Kezzie Msukwa, used names of players who took part in the Kumuzi Chess Club Championship as registered players eligible to vote, when the constitution does not talk about registered players but simply chess players.

Mumba adds that the Northern Region Chess League has no registered players with CHESSAM but clubs in the league have names of their own players.

“The names that the President called out from his laptop as registered players are those that competed in the Kumuzi Chess Club Championship. That list is not a representation of chess players from the Northern Region Chess League. There was no amendment to the constitution but he just imposed his decision on who to vote, barring 23 eligible voters in the process,” explained Mumba to Nyasa Times.

“With this, I declare NRCL elections not free and not fair; bringing shame and disgrace on CHESSAM”, reads Mumba’s letter to CHESSAM in part.

Reacting to Mumba’s letter, General Secretary for CHESSAM, Geshom Chima, advised Mr Gift Kadaluka who was presiding over the elections to submit a report on his side of the story with January 13, 2017 as the deadline.

Nyasa Times has established that the deadline passed with nothing coming from Mr Gift Kadaluka.

Efforts to talk to Kadaluka proved futile.

When Nyasa Times turned to Kezzie Msukwa on his take, he said it was unfortunate that Mr Mumba was alleging that some people did not vote.

“What I know is that all the people voted. Some people do not accept when they lose and that’s what is happening now. I have asked Mr Kadaluka to submit his report. Right now, I can’t comment much on this issue,” remarked Msukwa.

The Chess Association of Malawi (CHESSAM) is yet to make a ruling on the matter following the silence from Gift Kadaluka.

Since getting into office, Stanley Mtuwa has managed to sponsor a chess tournament to the tune of K80,000.00 from his own pocket; fulfilling his campaign promise in which he said he would ensure organizing a tournament in every quarter of the year.

Should CHESSAM be convinced that the elections were indeed not free and fair, the results may be declared null and void and a rerun will follow.

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