Malawi: PP Upbeat of Retaining Zomba Changulame Seat - MCP Yet to Decide On Candidates

24 February 2021

People's Party (PP) says it will do everything possible to retain Zomba Changalume Parliamentary seat, which fell vacant following the death of John Chikalimba, who was the party's Chief Whip in Parliament while Malawi Congress Party (MCP) says its management team will decide this week how it feature candidates in the forthcoming by-elections.

The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) will hold by-elections in seven constituencies across the country on the March 30 this year.

Other constituencies that fell vacant due to death are Ntchisi North, Lilongwe Nsinja South and Karonga North while seats in Nsanje Central, Nsanje North and Chikwawa East fell vacant after the High Court nullified results for the 2019 Parliamentary election.

PP spokesperson Ackson Kalaile Banda, therefore, said in an interview monitored MBC that it will not field candidates in Nsanje Central, Nsanje North and Chikwawa East Constituencies because it did not contest for the seats during the 2019 parliamentary elections.

Kalaile Banda said PP's focus is on Zomba Changalume Constituency and that in other constituencies, the party will support one of the Tonse Alliance partners.

"The party is already on the ground. We are defending that Constituency and we are going there with full force to defend the seat.

"However, you may wish to know that People's Party is in the working alliance with other political parties. So, we are not going to have candidates in Chikwawa and Nsanje, but will support a partner whom we feel we can support in those areas," said Kalaile.

However, Secretary General for Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Eisenhower Mkaka told the public broadcaster that the party's management team will meet this week to decide how it will feature candidates in the by-elections.

"MCP is very set for the by-elections. MCP management team will meeting shortly, possibly within this week, to discuss how we are going feature candidates in the areas, but different people are on the ground doing different things ahead of the by-election. So, once the management team meets, we are going to communication the decision to Malawians," said Mkaka.

Likewise, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said it is equally prepared to defend Nsanje Central and Nsanje North constituencies, describing the candidates in Francis Kasaila and Esther Mcheka as winning candidates.

DPP spokesperson Brown Mpinganjira also described them as disciplined and loyal members of the party with "winning experience".

"The party will fully support them to retain their seats. These are good and loyal members of the party and there has been no disagreement between them and the party. It is not the party that nullified the results. It is not because of any indiscipline of the candidates that the results were nullified. So, we are prepared and we are hopeful that we shall defend the seats and increase representation in Parliament," said Mpinganjira, also known as BJ.

While UTM National Publicity Secretary, Frank Mwenefumbo said the party has deployed its officials from the national executive committee to do fact finding and also consult leaders in the areas in question in order to make an informed decision.

He also hoped that, this time around, there will be no violence as experienced in the recently held by-elections in Karonga Central Constituency where there was fierce battle between UTM and MCP followers, all part of Tonse Alliance government.

More From: Nyasa Times

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