Councillo Louis Ngalande of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has blamed Minister of Local Government and DPP director of elections Kondwani Nankhumwa for facilitating his defeat in mayoral polls for Blantyre City Council.
Ngalande said he was poised to win the elections after being backed by the party ranbk and file which did not want lawyer and councillor Noel Chalamanda to retain the title.
“The DPP agreed that we should remove Chalamanda as mayor and I was chosen to be the party candidate. However, Nankhumwa was intimidating some councillors not to vote for me. He said they should vote for Wild Ndipo (who eventually won),” said Ngalande.
He claims he was being tipped by some councilors that they were receiving calls asking them not to vote for him but Ndipo.
But Nankhumwa has denied the claims, saying as much as DPP wanted a new mayor to take over from Chalamanda, the party would not have settled for Ngalande.
During the elections, Ngalande polled three votes but managed to beat Chalamanda who came last with two votes.
In his acceptance speech, Ndipo said his election meant the continuation of projects that were initiated under Councillor Chalamanda.
“I have more respect for Chalamanda and I am looking forward to learning more from him. Together, we initiated beautiful projects for the city and since I was part of his team, it will now be the continuation of whatever we started and move forward to make Blantyre City a better place for all,” he said.
Chalamanda while accepting defeat said he will continue his work as councillor until 2019.
“People have spoken and I respect their decision, I am always available to help. As I am leaving office, I am going a happy man and I should thank all city residents for their support in the two and half years I have been Mayor,” he said.