PP declares Jooma defeated Makande, Matola winner: Chikwemba gets reprieve

The ruling Peoples Party (PP) impromptu crisis meeting on Sunday controversially forced some winners in primary elections in Eastern region to forfeit their triumph in order to save party’s image.

The party’s top officials called for the  meeting, which Nyasa Times attended at Sun and Sand Hotel in Mangochi over disputed primary elections results in Eastern region especially Mangochi-MonkeyBay and Mangochi North constituencies.

But in its determination on Mangochi-MonkeyBay and Mangochi North Constituencies, the party declared Economic Minister, Ralph Jooma and Energy Minister, Ibrahim Matola winners after ruling out a run-off.

The party also dismissed disputes from other constituencies such as Mangochi West and Mangochi North East on argument that it cannot manage to hold a re-run to avoid elections’ cost.

Chikwemba:  To go for re-run
Chikwemba: To go for re-run
Makande:  Declared loser
Makande: Declared loser
Ministers Matola (L) and Jooma declared winners of controversial primaries
Ministers Matola (L) and Jooma declared winners of controversial primaries

PP Secretary General, Paul Maulidi who chaired the hearing told Benedicto Chambo who beat Matola in Mangochi North as well as Geoffry Chiwondo of Mangochi West to concede “defeat” since the party could not hold re-runs due to financial constraints.

Surprisingly, the party ruled it will hold a re-run in Zomba Central  constituency where deputy administrative secretary, Joseph Chikwemba lost to Patricia Kainga as well as in Mangochi East where Ibrahim Daudi had lost to Omar Kaisi.

The panel told Chambo to concede defeat against Matola  whom they described as a thug.

“It’s known fact that you (Chambo) have won, but to avoid disputes and to respect your opponent who is a villain, we urge you to accept defeat,” said Maulidi.

He added: “We can’t hold a re-run because it’s costly and nobody is willing to volunteer to oversee the re-run because of the Minister’s (Matola) character. He will incite violence”.

Maulidi’s deputy, Ireen Chikuni added that the party decided to declare Matola a winner to avoid confrontations and violance.

“He is arrogant and a thug. He will either insult us or personally attack you. So to avoid that, just accept defeat. But we have already agreed  [with President Joyce Banda] to offer you a diplomatic position,” Chikuni told Chambo.

In the case of Publicity Secretary, Hophmary Makande and Economic Planning Minister, Ralph Pachalo Jooma, the party declared the Minister the winner.

When passing ruling on Zomba Central constituency, the panel told Chikwemba, who disputed the results, that it  would hold a re-run but advised him not to make noise about it.

There was tension in Sun and Sand’s Nyanja Hall as some of the concerned individuals could not accept the party’s verdict with some of them threatening to seek court injunctions or contest as independents.

“This is not what I expected, seriously I will reconsider my position. My loyalty to the party aside, but I clearly triumphed in those primary elections,” said Chiwondo.

The disciplinary hearing was held following several anomalies which include vote rigging, interference by the affected camps with voting process and multiple voting by the voters.

The officials called for the meeting at the hotel where the party set-up its nerve centre after strong revealing reports indicate the elections in the said constituencies were not free, fair and credible.

Unofficial results from the party’s tcentre indicated that Jooma obtained more votes against Makande while Chambo triumphed against Matola.

In other results, deputy Minister of Education, Chikumbutso Hiwa has been defeated by Naomi Chidiwa in Ntcheu West.

Chidiwa got 2, 506 votes against Hiwa’s 2, 219 votes.

Minister of Labour, Grace Maseko has conceded defeat to John Chikalimba in Zomba Changalume Constituency.

In Mangochi Central Reverend Macdonard Sembereka won by 2,426 votes against Mr. Tchuwa’s 1,616 votes.

Minister responsible for Good Governance, Chris Daza has outclassed deputy speaker of Parliament, Jones Chingola in Ntcheu Central Constituency.

Several PP incumbent MPs such as Bauleni Manna for Dowa East, Agnes Penemulungu for Lilongwe City South East and Edwin Bagwanji of Lilongwe City West have also lost to new faces on the political scene.

The party is expected to hold primaries in Southern region next week.

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