PP supporters rough up Mwenifumbo

The dog eats dog mentality that has become the hallmark for campaigning in the volatile ‘Benghazi ‘ Karonga Central Constituency for years refuses to die.

On Monday, supporters of the ruling People’s Party candidate Dr Cornelius Mwalwanda roughed up independent candidate Frank Tumpale Mwenifumbo at Mlare Community ground where President Joyce Banda was to board a Helicopter to Ngerenge for other engagements.

Party and government officials, security detail had gathered at the venue to see  Banda off after she had earlier officially opened Ngara Admarc Ginnery.

Mwenefumbe (in balck suit) ruffled the feathers of his challenger PP candidate Cornelius Mwalwanda
Mwenefumbe (in blak suit) ruffled the feathers of his rival PP candidate Cornelius Mwalwanda

Police officers watched while PP youths tried to remove Mwenefumbo from the people that had gathered there and in the process, they tore his jacket and punched him.

Police in Karonga have made no arrests but confirmed to have recorded a complaint.

Paramount Chief Kyungu Mwakabanga of Karonga has repeatedly cautioned people in the constituency to desist from violence saying it is counterproductive.

PP Provincial Chair for the north Reverend Mzomera Ngwira condemned the incident saying it is not fair to bar people from President Banda’s public engagement or meetings.

He said Mwalwanda’s supporters were irked by Mwenefumbo’s presence, whom they regard as an outsider after being expelled from the party for deciding to contest as an independent when he lost the party primaries.

Mwalwanda  defeated  Mwenifumbo by 165 votes to be the party’s candidate in the 2014 tripartite polls.

Later at development rally at Baka Community, ground at Karonga Boma, Banda indirectly rebuked the Mlare incident saying those that perpetrate violence should join political where such behaviour is endemic.

She appealed for a peaceful campaign and election saying violence does not catapult one to be a leader.

“Even if you beat others but if God does not want you to be a leader so it will be. We do not want PP members to be engaged in violence,” Banda said.

Police, PP officials, Mwenefumbo and Mwalwanda all confirmed the Mlare incident.

Northern Region Police Deputy Public Relations officer Sergeant Paul Tembo said they are still investigating.

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