Party (MCP) has declared youthful activist Edward Chileka Banda winner in the Lilongwe Mapuyu South primaries and has stressed that it will not impose any contestant rejected by voters.
MCP publicity secretary the Reverend Maurice Munthali made the announcement yesterday after the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) members met in Lilongwe to review a case whereby the Mapuyu South primaries last Thursday oddly saw both Banda and veteran and incumbent parliamentarian Joseph Njobvuyalema claiming victory.
He said: “NEC met and after hearing from people who were at the venue, we have come to a conclusion that Banda won. It’s sad that what happened in Mapuyu makes the party look disorganised.
“But you will understand that whenever there is change, expect that everyone wants to attach himself or herself to the party. The demand is high up there; we cannot accommodate all [in positions]–but we remain as organised as ever.”
Initially, it emerged on Thursday, mainly on social media circles, that Banda won by 470 votes against Njobvuyalema’s 320 votes.
But later on Friday, Njobvuyalema visited some media houses with a signed piece of paper that claimed that he had won the elections by 356 votes against Chileka Banda’s 199 votes.
“MCP now has the official result that brings closure to the unfortunate confusion that had ensued in Lilongwe Mapuyu South. The party now recognises the official winner as Mr. Chileka Banda,” Munthali stated.
He declined to provide more details on what the meeting found to have caused the confusion, including how Njobvuyalema’s signed note had come about.
But he stressed that as it holds the primaries, the party has a set of rules and regulations to be adhered to by contestants, voters and polling officials.
Munthali said: “The rules are clear. Cardinal among these is the fact that the party will not impose any person on the people who have rejected the contestant through a fair and transparent voting process.
“Also, those voting should be seen to be legible and that the dates and venues of these primaries should be agreed to by the stakeholders. So, it is very unfortunate if party members and officials are behaving contrary to these clear guidelines which ensure that the will of ordinary voters is respected.”
When we called Njobvuyalema, around 6:30pm yesterday for his reaction to the NEC decision on the Chileka Banda victory, he sounded surprised, saying he had been at a funeral and did not know the decision had been made.
“Have they given a verdict? They’ve been very cruel on me and I wish they had involved me in the decision.”