Phoya on ‘spending spree’ ahead of PP primaries: Ganda, Kachere fall

There is growing tension between Minister of Lands, Henry Duncan Phoya and ruling People’s Party’s Director of Fundraising, Steve Mijiga as they are accusing each other of attempting to rig the primaries for Blantyre Rural East Constituency to be held on Wednesday.

The party was supposed to hold the primaries last Sunday, but failed to take place following reports of irregularities and misunderstandings regarding the voting system.

Phoya, who is the incumbent parliamentarian for the area, is also said to have accused Mijiga of attempting to duplicate more ballot papers and was to involve “ghost voters”, claims that consequently angered some aspirants including Malawi Writers Union President, Sambalikangwa Mvona who forced the party to shift the polls to Wednesday, January 15.

Phoya: Battling for mandate renewal
Phoya: Battling for mandate renewal
Ganda: Loses
Ganda: Loses

On the other hand, Mijiga is accusing the Minister of bribing the supporters with cash ahead of Wednesday’s primaries.

According to Nyasa Times sources, Phoya has been distributing bicycles and K2,000 cash to each PP supporter at area level.

Our sources further said some of the party’s senior officials have been campaigning for Phoya to represent the party in the area.

But this did not go down well with Mijiga, who is said to have openly told the regional leadership of the party that he will contest as independent candidate, should he lose the primaries to Phoya.

The party started holding primaries in the south last Sunday, and it abandoned the voting system used in the North, Centre and Eastern where every registered voter was allowed to vote.

However, the party is withholding results for most constituencies following reports of irregularities and rigging concerns from the disgruntled candidates.

Former cabinet ministers Reen Kachere, Eunice Makangala and Sam Ganda also failed to secure the party’s member of parliament nominations for the May 20 tripartite elections.

Makangala lost to Minister of Information, James Brown Mpinganjira’s son Chipiliro, while Ganda, who donated an ambulance last week to Nsanje Laranje, lost to Lawrence Sitolo.

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