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Tension at Jessie Kabwila’s constituency

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By Audrey Kapalamula:

Primary elections at Salima North West Constituency failed to roll out yesterday due to conflicts that surrounded legitimacy of delegates that arrived at the venue of Mlesi Primary school in the district.

Apart from the incumbent legislator Jessie Kabwila, three others, Enock Phale, Jason Kamthiti and Moses Buwa were also contesting for the parliamentary seat.

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However, tension blew when election officials led by Director of Political Affairs, Max Kalamula, took to the ground both supporters and delegates for verification.

Kalamula, in an interview, said the decision to postpone the elections was arrived at in order to settle internal matters and that the election team had challenges in separating voters from supporters.

“Some of the issues are internal, so we need to go back and sort out. On the other hand, we had problems in separating the delegates from the supporters,” he said.

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But reports indicate that there were two parallel structures that were formed after Kabwila was involved in party disagreements that led to her suspension at one point before she was reinstated.

Kalamula confirmed receiving a directive from Director of Elections, Ellias Chakwera, that only area committees should vote totalling 108 with 912 delegates.

He said with the contetious issues that marred the whole exercise, the team will set another date for the elections.

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