By Jameson Chauluka:
Chiradzulu East Member of Parliament Henry Mussa has maintained that he won the disputed primary elections which took place on December 19 to represent Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in May 21 Tripartite Elections.
Controversy marred the elections with Mussa’s challenger Joe Nomale claiming that the minister ran away from the venue in shame after falling in the elections.
But Mussa, who visited Times Group offices in Blantyre, said all the evidence is in plain view that he won the elections.
“If I lost, why would the people lift me sky high? Just like in any competition, there is no way that I would have just remained on the venue after I was declared winner. Nomale lost just like many of his colleagues who have tried to compete with me in that constituency for the past 19 years,” he said.
Mussa disputes a video clip which made rounds showing few people behind his back during the elections.
“Do you know who shot that video and from what angle? Personally, I am yet to see it but what I am saying is that you can’t trust that video and, as journalists, you must be careful with such things,” he said.
Elections presiding officer Symon Vuwa Kaunda said, contrary to what Namale claimed, Mussa won the elections with 3,650 votes against Nomale’s 1,600.
“That version is coming from the loser. The truth is that Honourable Henry Mussa has won the elections and, as we are speaking, he is celebrating his victory with his supporters at his home,” he said.
DPP Secretary General Greseldar Jeffrey also corroborated Kaunda’s version that Mussa won the elections.
But Nomale maintains that the votes were not counted as Mussa bolted after seeing that defeat was imminent.
“The elections were held in an open field and everyone saw what happened. I know that he is moving around with a DVD which he doctored to advance his candidature but ask him why he ran away from the venue even before the votes were counted.
“I submitted my concerns to the party and I am waiting for its decision on the matter,” he said.
DPP’s primary elections have been marred by controversies in the Southern Region in some constituencies such as Chiradzulu East, Phalombe South, Thyolo Thava, Neno South, Nsanje Lalanje, Mulanje North, Blantyre City West, Blantyre West and Ndirande Malabada.
On January 2, the party’s Vice-President for the South Kondwani Nankhumwa called frustrated shadow MPs who were not satisfied with how the elections were held in their constituencies to iron out their differences before the party organises reruns.
But conspicuously missing at the meeting were shadow MPs from Chiradzulu East, Blantyre West and Ndirande Malabada among others.
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