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Outrage in UDF over primaries

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By Mandy Pondani:

There is anger among some aspirants in United Democratic Front (UDF) on the handling of primaries and other party issues. Some of the aspirants we talked to said they were concerned with the silence from the party’s secretariat, three weeks after it shifted primary elections. Kelvin Mgwayi, who wants to contest on the party’s ticket as ward councillor in Zomba, said in an interview Thursday that they were told that the party would issue a statement on the way forward by October 27 2018 but nothing has materialised.

“I think our leaders could do better because this is causing unnecessary anxiety. We are following blindly, not knowing where the road leads. So, it is a genuine concern from those of us who love the UDF and would like to contest on its ticket,” Mgwayi said.

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UDF suspended primary elections, which were scheduled for October 17 starting with Mangochi District, saying it wanted to give room for scrutiny of delegates and aspirants. The party’s publicity secretary, Ken Ndanga, also said they intended to institute a new election committee to preside over the process.

Ndanga’s sentiments were echoed by secretary general Kandi Padambo, who said the committee was dissolved to ensure that primaries are held in a free and fair environment. “We have reconstituted a committee and have been on the ground in the constituencies and, not long from now, we will hold our primaries to the satisfaction of all our members and aspirants,” said Padambo without stating any specific date for the process.

Meanwhile, University of Livingstonia political commentator George Phiri has reiterated that intra-party democracy has a bearing on the future of the country beyond next year’s tripartite elections.

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