MCP to probe Lilongwe Mapuyu South results
By Macdonald Thom:
Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has said it will investigate circumstances that led to conflicting results from Lilongwe Mapuyu South Constituency primary elections conducted on Thursday.
At first, sources at the venue of the elections indicated that youth activist Edward Chileka-Banda had carried the day, after amassing 470 votes to incumbent legislator Joseph Njobvuyalema’s 320.
But, later, Njobvuyalema said he had won the elections after getting 356 votes against Chileka-Banda’s 199.
MCP director of elections, Elias Chakwera, said, according to a report which leader of the team that conducted the elections, Watson Makala Ngozo, submitted, Njobvuyalema won the elections.
“At first, the people we had on the ground told us that Edward Chileka- Banda had won. But the official report we have from leader of the delegation shows that honourable Njobvuyalema won. We are going to investigate the issue so that we get details of what actually happened,” Chakwera said.Advertisement
He, however, could not give a timeframe of the investigations.
But when we visited the constituency and talked to some of the people who voted, what came out clear was that people were not told the results of the elections at the venue.
People who voted in the elections said the whole process was disturbed by celebratory Chileka- Banda supporters after their number hit 400. It is understood that the people started celebrating since they knew that, having hit 400, no other candidate could get more votes than Banda’s as there were 701 delegates.
This is also stated on a sheet which Njobvuyalema brought to Times Group’s offices in Lilongwe on Friday.
“On fifth line, proper counting was not done because Mr E Chileka Banda just declared himself winner. But if you add the figures of four people and subtract the total votes of 701, the balance is 199 for Chileka Banda. I, therefore, declared honourable Joseph Njobvuyalema winner,” Makala Ngozo wrote on the document.
According to the document, Njobvuyalema got 356 votes, Lenata Sakaike got 10, Joseph Bauleni 58 while Esther Kathumba got 78.
Meanwhile, Chileka Banda has insisted that he won the elections.
“The only genuine results are those showing that Edward Chileka-Banda won. It is up to the party to resolve this matter amicably but I will not accept anything less than what the people of Mapuyu South decided and they said it through the vote,” Chileka Banda said.
On Friday, Njobvuyalema said he had won the primary elections.
“As far as I am concerned, I won the primary elections. What you heard were unofficial results. Even in national elections, people get unofficial results but the final results are announced by the Malawi Electoral Commission. According to the results, I have won and I am ready to be MCP candidate for Lilongwe Mapuyu South [Constituency] in next year’s elections,” Njobvuyalema said.
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