Mwenefumbo defies PP: To contest on independent ticket

A cloud of controversy has resurfaced in Karonga Central Constituency following  ruling People’s Party (PP) Deputy Administrative Secretary Frank Tumpale Mwenefumbo’s fresh declaration that he will contest in the area as an independent candidate.

The party will field Deputy Minister of Economic Planning, Dr. Cornelius Mwalwanda.

During primaries last December, Mwalwanda was declared winner after beating Mwenefumbo, but the latter disputed the results resulting into fierce violence and protracted running battles between supporters of the two aspirants.

After days of reasoning and bargaining, the party’s secretariat then declared Mwalwanda as duly winner of the disputed primaries with Mwenefumbo promising and telling the nation that he would support him.

Mwenefumbo: Independent
Mwenefumbo: Independent

But on Tuesday, Mwenefumbo declared his interest and desire to contest as an independent candidate in May 20 polls, throwing to the dogs the party’s calls to support and campaign for the deputy minister.

Mwenefumbo, however, claims he is still a member of the PP.

“I still belong to ruling People’s Party. Declaring to contest as an independent candidate doesn’t mean I have ceased to be a member of PP.

“I have always been and will remain loyal to the party. However, I am contesting to represent myself as independent candidate,” asserted Mwenefumbo.

There was no immediate reaction from the party.

But his decision comes barely few days after the party presented certificates to all its parliamentary candidates and urged them to collaboratively work and engaged those who lost during primaries as their campaign directors so as to avoid intra-party squabbles.

Mwenefumbo lost the same seat in last elections when he stood on DPP ticket. He has served the constituency as MP under Aford banner before defecting to DPP.

The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has singled out Karonga Central Constituency as one of the volatile areas with just three months to the May 20 Tripartite Elections.

Nicknamed Benghazi after a time-honoured battlefield in Libya, the shoreline in Karonga has become a conflict zone since 2009 when Mwalwanda and Mwenifumbo had their first-ever face-off in parliamentary poll.

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