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MCP calls off Nkhata Bay elections

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By Feston Malekezo:

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) primary elections for Nkhata Bay South Constituency were called off on Saturday due to disagreements over an electoral college.

Ken Zikhale Ng’oma and Lecnay Nyankhata are contesting to represent MCP in the parliamentary race.

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Nyankhata alleged that Ng’oma was only being tactical to have the primaries cancelled for fear of losing.

“He literally did not prepare for the primaries so he was afraid of losing. We had contributed K400, 000 each for transport and other issues concerning the electoral process.

“From the money we contributed, everybody was supposed to use four vehicles to carry people from their respective areas. To my surprise, he used extra money to hire buses which brought other voters, we do not know,” she said.

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Nyankhata added: “Apart from that, I am also being accused of bringing police officers, which was not part of the plan. The fact of the matter is that I am a lady and having been tipped that my opponent was planning to attack me, I needed security and hired police offices. I do not see anything sinister here to have the primaries cancelled.”

The other issue concerned food coupons which Nyankhata brought and distributed to some electorates.

According to Ng’oma, who is MCP director of strategy, this was a plot to manipulate voters.

But Nyankhata said this was only aimed at helping the voters to have something to eat considering that they spent most of the day at the primaries.

There were over 200 political areas which were represented by nine representatives from each of the areas, contributing 1,800 voters.

Ng’oma also complained of being told at an 11th hour about the date of the venue of the primaries.

“I was called two days before the day of the primaries and I felt this was not a proper way of communicating,” he said.

Meanwhile, the party is yet to investigate circumstances that led to disagreements between the two candidates.

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