Zambia’s Mwaanga denies Malawi News report: Says rigging claims ‘fictitious’

Veteran Zambian politician Vernon Mwaanga has denied reports which appeared in Malawi News  accussing him of interfering in the latter’s forthcoming elections.

Mwaanga, together with Major Richard Kachingwe, were linked to a report that they were hired by the Malawian President Joyce Banda as political consultants ahead of the elections scheduled for May 20.

But Mwaanga on Tuesday described the claims as “malicious and blatant lies”.

Malawi News  quoted Secretary-general of the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Gustav Kalilo warning that no foreigner should be allowed to interfere in the polls.

Mwaanga: Fictitious
Mwaanga: Fictitious

However, Mwaanga said the allegation should be treated as the next best thing to fiction.

“I am shocked that people are commenting on an issue without first getting the right information from me. To begin with, I have not been to Malawi in a very long time. I have been here in Zambia,” he said.

“The last time I went to Malawi was in 2010 when I went to represent the National Assembly during the official opening of the new parliament building of Malawi. The reports are malicious and blatant lies,” he said.

Mwaanga said he had not signed any contract with the Malawian leader to help her win the elections, adding that accusing him of interfering in that country’s elections was not fair.

The 75-year-old veteran politician, who has served under four Zambian presidents, however said he was contracted as an advisor to late Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika during the 2009 elections.

“I have not been to Malawi since, and I have not been involved in advising or consulting with any of Malawi political parties. Yes, in the last election of 2009, I had advised the late president Mutharika and his running mate, who was then Joyce Banda, who is now the President of Malawi. But since that time, I have not been involved in advising any of the political parties in Malawi on elections, or on any other matters,” said Mwaanga as quoted by The Post of Zambia,

And Major Kachingwe said he had never been contracted as a consultant by anybody.
“I have not been contracted by anybody as a consultant and I have never offered any document. Somebody read to me the document on phone but I have never authored any document myself. The report is just a total fabrication,” said Maj Kachingwe, who once served as Zambia’s High Commissioner to Malawi.

Peoples Party’s acting publicity secretary Ken Msonda said the party was aware of the report but said Malawians should be encouraged to dismiss it as desperate attempts by an opposition which knows it will lose the elections as it keeps losing ground.

Malawians are expected to conduct the first tripartite polls to select the president, lawmakers and councillors on May 20.

About 12 candidates are competing in the presidential election with incumbent Banda facing stiff challenge from three main opposition leaders; namely Atupele Muluzi of the United Democratic Front, Peter Mutharika of the Democratic Progressive Party and Lazarus Chakwera of the Malawi Congress Party.

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