Pandemonium erupted in central constituency of Malawi’s northern border district of Karonga on Friday when Peoples Party (PP) officials were pelted with stones and beaten up after being accused of bias in selecting chairperson of the party in the area at a function held at Rupembe Chisoolo ground.
The party officials who came from Mzuzu city led by Pisho Nkhwazi the party’s nothern region director of elections said the function was aimed to elect the chairperson for Karonga central without an option for members to vote.
“We have come to appoint chairman for our party here in Karonga central and as per instructions the reliable person to take the chair is Vincent Kayuni as he has been a veteran member of the party since the beginning,” said Nkhwazi.
The remarks did not go down well with some supporters from the camp of the incumbent parliamentarian Cornelius Mwalwanda which are called PP ‘B’. They were angry with the appointment arguing that they were denied their right to vote and started beating up the officials.
They wondered why the officials imposed on them Kayuni who campaigns for Frank Mwenefumbo who is not a PP parliamentarian instead of appointing Fukwefukwe Sichali who campaigns for Mwalwanda the serving parliamentarian.
“That cannot happen. We have the power to choose a person to take the position not what you have done here if you want peace allow everyone to vote,” shouted supporters.
The situation went out of hand and angry supporters of the opposing sides started throwing stones at each other smashing cars and blood was shed as one person retuned home without teeth.
The fracas comes just a week after village Head Man Mwaluwali of the area confessed during a workshop on Conflict Management organized by National Initiative for Civic Education about volatile political situation in his area.
“You can’t imagine that over five marriages have broken up just because they are supporting different candidates but of the same party and some family members are not talking to one another because of that,” said Mwaluwali.
Mwaluwali come clear that in his area some PP members are called PP ‘A’ while others are called PP ‘B’.
One woman told Nyasa Times that she doesn’t talk with his brother because he is of the other side.
“I am PP’A’ and my brother is of PP ‘B’ so we are different we can’t eat or do anything together because we are enemies,” she said.
Mwaluwali said he has tried without success to bring peace in his community.
“I am a very worried person because if these people are doing these now when campaign time is yet to start what about during campaign period? I am sure I will lose people’s lives here,” said Mwaluwali.
Karonga Central Constituency has recently made headlines for wrangles within PP, especially those involving party members supporting former parliamentarian Mwenifumbo and the current legislator Mwalwanda, who is also Deputy Finance Minister.
The party, however, recently declared Mwenifumbo—who is its deputy secretary general and acting provincial governor for the North—as its torch bearer in the 2014 elections.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :