President Joyce Banda’s party, People’s Party (PP), has blocked an aspiring Member of Parliament (MP) for Ntcheu West Naomi Chidiwa from representing the party despite winning primaries in the latest of controversies that have characterised the party’s primary elections.
PP secretary general Paul Maulidi confirmed that Chidiwa has since been replaced by incumbent MP Chikumbutso Hiwa who lost in the polls early this month.
Said Maulidi in an interview yesterday: “She was disqualified for causing violence. She is also answering same charges in court.”
He added that the party found Chidiwa guilty of inciting violence which is contrary to the electoral code of the party. Chidiwa went into hiding after roughnecks pounced on her on January 4.
Chidiwa has opted to contest as an independent during the May 20 Tripartite Elections, saying some party officials are favouring Hiwa at her expense.
“This is a very unfortunate development. I have not been communicated to officially by the party. I was never given an opportunity to give my side of the story. But I accept what they have decided and I will stand as an independent candidate,” she said.
The party has indicated that it will hold a rerun in Lilongwe City South-West Constituency where aspirant Sabina Patel was declared winner.
Patel was quoted on Zodiak Broadcasting Station as confirming that she has been informed of the rerun, but said she would not contest, suspecting foul play.
Other contestants are Faison Chonzi and Mara Kumbweza Banda, chairperson of the National Aids Commission, said PP publicity secretary Ken Msonda.
But Msonda expressed ignorance of the rerun, saying a report submitted on the polls confirm Patel as winner and that primaries were free and fair. He said Patel was presented to President Banda as a shadow MP for the area and that she collected party campaign materials.
“Let me find out what has happened to warrant a rerun. Something is not adding up somewhere,” he said.
Meanwhile, Maulidi has asserted that Steven Mijiga won the Blantyre Rural East Constituency despite controversies in the run -up to the Sunday polls. He beat Mike Sambalikagwa Mvona after incumbent MP Henry Phoya, Minister of Lands, pulled out.
It is not clear when the party will issue nomination forms to the shadow MPs. Maulidi said the process is nearing completion.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) will release names of all shadow MPs today and the candidates will be issued with nomination forms next week, said Kondwani Nankhumwa, the party’s director of elections.
The Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and United Democratic Front (UDF) are yet to complete primary elections.
MCP publicity secretary Jessie Kabwila said the party will be through with the exercise at the end of the month.
UDF secretary general Kandi Padambo also said the party will finish the exercise at the end of the month. The party is currently conducting the exercise in areas where there are sitting MPs and in the Northern Region.
Among the big casualties in the UDF primary elections is Ken Ndanga, the party’s publicity secretary, who was aspiring to represent Balaka South Constituency.