By Joshua Mphanda, MEC Stringer
Things fall apart in Lilongwe Msinja South constituency as eight losing candidates in the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) primary election in which Francis Belekanyama was declared the winner have disputed the results and vowed to go independent.
The development came to light on Tuesday when the aspirants accused the ruling party hierarchy of electioneering and imposing Francis, whose late father Lingson Belekanyama served as lawmaker for the area for 17 years.
Speaking in an interview, Jones Yamikani Chadza who came second in the election which had twelve people contesting for the country’s oldest party ticket said he is going independent as the results do not reflect the will of the people.
“I have decided to go independent and my bid has the support of other candidates who are not satisfied with the results because those results are the will of what some senior MCP members wanted at the Regional office and currently the party is split here,” claims Chadza.
Chadza also revealed that he will start campaigning in the constituency on Thursday and they have already created a development committee to assist and look at the needs of the people in the area.
The losing candidates are currently split in two groups and Chadza’s candidature has been endorsed by Fanizo Kabwazi, Hasten Mlinde, Sam Mbendera and Lefinosi Chigamula while the other independent candidate is a lone wolf Lameck Kondesi.
In his remarks, Kondesi expressed ‘dissatisfaction’ with the results and said he had decided to go independent at the behest of his supporters.
Of the eight candidates out of twelve we interviewed, four endorsed Yamikani Jones Chadza while two candidates in Herman Yokonia Mvula and Henrick Chidzumeni Kumkeyani said they will decide later who to endorse but ruled out standing as independents.
Meanwhile, MCP’s National Campaign Director Moses Kumkuyu has since downplayed the other candidates remarking; “Such things are common in Democracy but as MCP we are not fazed by this and I am very confident that come 30 March our candidate will carry the day.”
The by-election in the area is being held following the death of veteran MCP Legislator Lingson Belekanyama who until his death also served as Minister of Local Government.