Mwawa wins primary but PP declares a rerun

The internal wrangling in the People’s Party (PP) primary elections sees no sign of ending as another bitter dispute has erupted in Balaka Central East where Yusuf Mwawa, former Education Minister and James Saizi, a senior civil servant in the Ministry of Agriculture, working at the Mangochi ADD, are tussling over the results of the elections that were conducted on the 4th January 2014. `

According to senior party sources, Mwawa was declared winner immediately after the election having scooped 4 800 votes against Saizi’s 3 000.

The results were confirmed by the returning officer of the elections, a Mr Liwemba.

Mwawa: I won clearly
Mwawa: I won clearly

However, in a style that has dogged the PP since the beginning of primary elections, some senior party members were not happy with the results and this included the Eastern Region Provincial Chairman  Samson Nsosa who started bringing in issues that were not initially agreed.

Despite the results being declared the same day, to Mwawa’s dismay, he received a message from the PP Acting Secretary General, Paul Maulidi stating that there will be a rerun in the 6 areas that Saizi was disputing.

Information received by Mwawa’s team is that his opponent, Saizi was told of the rerun in the 6 areas he disputed by the party secretariat  immediately after the results were declared on the 04th January. This gave him ample time to start campaining and was apparently given Government subsidised fertiliser and farm inputs to distribute in the areas, giving him an unfair advantage.

This wrangle is threatening to tear the party apart in Balaka district as it has seen the District Committee including the constituency governor petitioning the party secretariat on Wednesday 22nd January, arguing that any rerun will only confuse matters.

Asked on his position, Mwawa, who is the Deputy Director of Strategic Planning in the PP Party, categorically stated that he will not be party to the rerun as he is the true and actual winner.

“I was declared a winner on the 4th January, with the returning officer confirming the results so I do not see why we should conduct another round of elections”, said a calm Mwawa in an interview with Nyasa Times.

Asked about his next move should the rerun take place, Mwawa said he will wait and see but in the meantime he will support the party and government to ensure that things are going smoothly.

President Joyce Banda is expected to announce the winners of PP primary elections tomorrow at a rally in Balaka minus the Balaka Central East Constituency.

Saizi could not be reached for comment when contacted.

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