PP declares Minister Hiwa candidate in Ntcheu West despite loss during primaries

The ruling People’s Party (PP) has finally declared Deputy Minister of Health, Chikumbutso John Hiwa, who lost in Ntcheu West primary elections, as its parliamentary candidate.

The party claims its decision is on the premise that the rightful winner, Naomi Chidiwa Manjakaisi, has court cases and it does not want to be taken unawares.

Acting Secretary General, Paul Maulidi, confirmed the party’s resolution to endorse the loser, who is the constituency’s incumbent parliamentarian, as its torchbearer on May 20.

Hiwa: To be PP's candidate
Hiwa: To be PP’s candidate

The female aspirant floored the deputy minister with 2506 votes against 2219 during the elections held on January 4.

Earlier, the party withheld the results after Manjakaisi was reportedly faulted of conspiracy and assaulting the party’s councilor, Edson Manda, during the polls.

The accused, through her roughnecks, is alleged to have assaulted Manda thereby causing bodily harm and malicious damage. Her case is currently in court.

Ntcheu West is one of the many constituencies where the governing party’s primary elections have been rocked in disputes resulting in several of its members ditching it opting to stand as independent candidates.

And Manjakaisi has just joined the bandwagon announcing she has resigned from the two-year-old party and will stand as an independent contender.

“I have decided to resign from PP and will stand as an independent aspirant. I can’t continue working with a party that does not want me,” she told Nyasa Times.

Manjakaisi felt the party had already endorsed her rival and loser to represent it and fighting for a redress would be a waste of time hence her decision to quit and stand independently.

The now-independent-aspirant, who until her resignation was one of the PP’s directors (for youth) in Eastern Province, becomes the third senior member to dump the party in the province due to controversies over the primary polls.

She follows director of elections for the province, Bennet Mankhanamba (Balaka West) and deputy speaker of Parliament, Jones Chingola who lost in Ntcheu Central.

The Eastern Province comprises Balaka, Mangochi, Machinga, Ntcheu and Zomba with 40 constituencies out of which eight aspirants went through unopposed.

Meanwhile, the deputy minister was on Tuesday joined by scores of his followers in Ntcheu to celebrate the backdoor triumph.

Political analysts have, however, warned the ruling party to be extra careful as disgruntled candidates who leave and decide to stand as independents would likely split votes thereby diminishing its chances of winning the May 20 polls.

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