Delegates at the Alliance for Democracy (AFORD) chaotic elective convention unanimously elected Karonga Central legislator Frank Tumpale Mwenifumbo, as the “president” of the party in a controversial circumstances.
Mwenifumbo was elected at dawn on Wednesday after AFORD incumbent president Enoch Chihana cancelled what he described as the party’s genuine elective conference on Tuesday night following a furious commotion that ensued at the venue, Don Bosco Youth Institute in Lilongwe.
Chihana had justified the cancellation of the indaba, saying he acted in the interest of the safety of the delegates.
Earlier, Chihana, who is also Rumphi Central member of Parliament, accused his challenger of bringing ineligible delegates, an allegation Mwenifumbo dismissed.
During the polls, party secretary general Christopher Edward Ritchie who fell out of favour with Chihana was returned to his post.
Dan Msowoya, AFORD’s long time publicist, was elected as Publicity Secretary, IbrahimSwanki was elected campaign director while a Gupta was elected party chairman.
At the compilation of this story, Chihana was set to address reporters to react on the development.
Tension had built up ahead of AFORD’s much awaited elective convention earlier on Tuesday with delegates loyal to the two frontrunners arriving at the venue as early as 10 am.
Draped in AFORD’s blue and white regalia, they sang songs that disparaged each other.
They beat drums, sang and danced for their leaders.
A prolonged stalemate over a list of genuine delegates to the convention worsened matters.
The two camps were accusing each other of bringing to the indaba bogus delegates.
The stalemate lasted from about 3 pm till very late with no any hope of resolve despite several impromptu National Executive Council (NEC) meetings and was attended by 34 of its 56 members. The meeting resolved that both sides present their voters’ rolls.
The High Court in Lilongwe ruled that Aford should hold its convention on May 1 and gave powers to the secretary general to vet and read out the list of delegates to vote.
Most of the delegates, tired, complained that they were being taken for granted by their leaders.
In the cold May night, the delegates, especially women lay on the dirty concrete floor to sleep without blankets to cover themselves.
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