PP’s north aspirants turn independents

Disgruntled aspirants in the parliamentary race for the ruling Peoples Party in Mzimba Solola and Mzuzu City Constituencies have declared that they will run as independent candidates in the May 20 tripartite elections.

The declaration by the duo in separate functions on Thursday is symptomatic of the deep rooted cracks that have bedevilled the nascent ruling party since its formation two years ago.

Former Civil Servant Edward Gondwe, who came second in the Mzimba Solola constituency primaries, said it was ironic that the party declared Sugzolane Nyirenda, who came third the race without solving or attending to complaints and irregularities.

Njikho: I will run as an independent even though PP are threatening me
Njikho: I will run as an independent even though PP are threatening me

Incumbent MP Akim Mwanza, who a few days ago said he will stand as independent also, echoed Gondwe’s sentiments.

Gondwe, who has dragged 194 Area Committees with him, said he will not resign from the party because President Joyce  Banda was fed false information regarding the primaries.

“What we have discovered is that Nyirenda was planted by a very senior official in the race and that is why the party could not attend to our grievances for a re-run,” Gondwe said.

In Karonga Central Constituency, another loser, PP deputy Secretary General Frank Tumpale Mwenifumbo is also considering running as an independent candidate.

Mwenefumbo told Nyasa Times in an SMS response that “I have not yet made my mind”

But his ‘Lieutenant’ Vincent Kayuni told Nyasa Times on Tuesday at Lupembe that he was processing nomination forms for his boss to stand as an independent.

In Mzuzu City Constituency, another loser, Leonard Njikho aka Uncle Jose claimed he has decided to stand as an independent following pressure from various stakeholder including clergy, PP officials and ordinary citizens.

Njikho said this during a news conference held at St Andrews CCAP Hall in Mzuzu on Thursday saying he has bowed down to people’s pressure.

“A few days after our primary elections, district and some provisional members of PP sought audience with me and ask me to stand as any Independent.

“They too had been asked by the people that I was the suitable candidate to win the elections,” he said.

Njikho, an astute business man, claimed there is a plot by PP Provisional Officials in the north to physically attack him and deliberately disrupt his campaign rallies.

“In addition, they are also planning to suffocate my business in ways that are not specified,” he said.

Njikho said it is unfortunate that PP officials regard him as a rebel when he took a leading role in growing the party at grassroots level.

“After all I am exercising my constitutional right to associate or express myself,” he said.

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