Deputy Minister of Finance Doctor Cornelius Mwalwanda has won the ruling Peoples Party primary elections for the volatile Karonga Central Constituency flooring long time rival former MP Frank Tumpale Mwenifumbo by 165 votes.
Mwalwanda amassed 6352 votes against Mwenifumbo’s 6187 in the bitterly fought elections.
Initially, the PP’s Returning Officers led by National organising Secretary Salim Bagus and deputy secretary general Irene Chikuni had declared Mwenifumbo the victor with 6584 against Mwalwanda’s 5936.
But Mwalwanda protested prompting a re-calculation of the figures from each of the 15 centres.
During a press conference held at Simuka Inn in Karonga, Mwenifumbo conceded defeat and pledged to support Mwalwanda despite the fact that he had earlier refused the outcome citing a litany of flaws which ranged from intimidation of his supporters and disregard of the Party’s code of conduct on elections by his rival.
“The people have spoken. I would like to congratulate my friend for the victory. And I will make sure that all my supporters rally behind Mwalwanda and President Joyce Banda in the 2014 elections,” he said.
Mwenifumbo, who is also the Party’s Provisional Chairperson for the north, also said he will not stand either as an independent candidate or quit PP.
“It painful to lose but I have accepted it. I will advise my supporters to desist from engaging in violent acts because the victory for Mwalwanda is for the Party,” he said.
While Mwalwanda said he was humbled by Mwenifumbo’s gesture saying it is not easy to concede defeat.
“I am grateful for what you have done. Lest work together. Winning does not mean that you are the best but means you are just lucky,” he said.
Mwenifumbo once trounced Mwalwanda in the heavily contested DPP primaries in the run up to the 2009 general polls.
But Mwalwanda stood as an Independent candidate and won.
In July, 2013 Treasurer General Harry Mkandawire told people in the constituency that “If you make Mwenifumbo sail through at the primaries then as PP’s Treasurer General niti zenge na chithumba. Kweni phala munda chite iyvo chala nizengeko kuno chala,” Mkandawire said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :