The ruling Peoples Party (PP) has ordered a re-run of primary elections for the Member of Parliament in the volatile ‘Benghazi’ Karonga Central Constituency .
The primaries were initially won by deputy minister of finance Dr Cornelius Mwalwanda who defeated his rival Frank Mwenefumbo.
But Mwenefumbo who had conceded defeated later rejected the results, claiming Mwalwanda flouted party regulations regarding the conduct of primary elections.
The re-run is scheduled for Saturday January 11, 2013, according to PP deputy national director of Campaign Ken Zikhale Ng’oma.
Zikhale told Nyasa Times in an interview on Monday that the party had vetted all complaints Mwenifumbo directed to them and validated them.
He said Mwenefumbo had a strong case and the party felt there should be a re-run.
“Mwalwanda used Chief Mwakabanga and Mwenyesya II to intimidate their subjects against voting for Mwenifumbo promising them that he would recommend their elevation to President Doctor Joyce Banda,” Zikhale said.
But Mwalwanda feigned ignorance on the development insisting that he saw no reason for a re-run because Mwenifumbo conceded defeat.
“Of course there were some complaints but Mwenifumbo accepted that I won and he pledged to support me. So why should PP embark on such an expensive exercise when the issue was resolved that day,” Mwalwanda said.
Mwalwanda said the fact that he was called to Kamuzu Palace together with other victors in the parliamentary race and paraded as PP’s torch bearer for the 2014 elections was enough proof that he is the legitimate candidate.
The deputy minister won elections beating Mwenifumbo . 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.
Zikhale PP will have on the ground a high powered delegation that will man all the 17 centres to ensure that the elections are free, fair and credible.
It is rumoured that President Banda wants Mwenefumbo to be the winner.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :