Political violence resurfaced over the weekend when the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) cadets intimidated contestants in Thyolo-Thava Constituency during the party’s primaries which left one injured and others pulling out of the elections.
Sources privy to the incident disclosed that the incumbent Parliamentarian Mary Thom Navicha, who has lost popularity in the area, isalleged to have hired roughnecks to intimidate fellow contestants.
One of the aspiring DPP councillors Pauline Kanyoza expressed her dissatisfaction with the way the primaries were conducted and questioned whether the 50-50 campaign that isbeing advocated for really makes sense when a fellow woman is in the forefront of instigating terror to other women.
This did not go well with Navicha and that prompted DPP zealots to rough up Kanyoza leaving her with a torn dress.
“I was trying to reason with Navicha that the 50-50 campaignadvocates that women and men should have equal space on political scene. Now it is unheard of for the same campaigners to do otherwise.
“A lot of people have pulled out of these primaries because of gross flaws in the electoral process of these primaries and for that I was beaten up,” lamented Kanyoza.
Another aspirant Livingstone Mazinga for the constituencytold Nyasa Times that DPP’s Thyolo regional office flouted procedures that weresupposed to be followed in conducting the primaries.
“Everyone knows that standard procedure in the party allows that there should be free flow of information to all contestants. From the word go information has been deliberately withheld to the disadvantage others.
“For instance, we knew that primaries will be held after Parliament rises, but to our surprise party officials were called on Saturday tocollect forms and barely 24 hours elections were set which shows that these aredeliberate tactics that are not allowed in a democratic dispensation.
“And that’s why I pulled out and have written the DPP regional office that the primaries results be nullified and there should be a proper re-run,” said Mazinga.
Constituency Governor for Thyolo-Thava George Umali, who was unceremoniously removed from his position, calls on the DPP leadership to investigate how party affairs are being run in the district.
Umali observed that DPP is losing popularity due to a few selfish individuals who are running the party as a personal estate.
He adds his weight to nullify the primaries’ result and to level the stage for a fresh free and fair election.
Rifred Nawena, former Parliamentarian for the constituency, also pulled out of the primaries citing serious flaws.
Efforts to talk to Ben Phiri, director of elections in DPP proved futile.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :