By Audrey Kapalamula
Lilongwe Mapuyu South lawmaker, Joseph Njobvuyalema, yesterday became the first long-serving legislator to lose in the ongoing Malawi Congress Party primary elections.
Njobvuyalema lost to youth activist Edward Chileka-Banda in primary elections held at Kang’onga Primary School in the constituency.
Chileka Banda got 470 votes against Njobvuyalema’s 320.
A third contestant, Stella Kathumba, got 50 votes to fall by the wayside.
During the elections, two incumbent councillors also stumbled. In Kamazi Ward, Dominic Banda defeated Edson Kalonga while, in Kachawa Ward, Lucky Nkasauka triumphed over Gibson Macheso.
There was no immediate reaction from Njobvuyalema.
However, Chileka-Banda said he was excited and ready to serve constituents once elected in the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections.
“I would best describe it [victory] as crazy because this [triumphing] is something many people did not expect considering that the incumbent is a very experienced politician. So the feeling is so good and, at the same time, it’s a lesson to young people,” he said.
MCP director of elections, Elias Chakwera, yesterday said he was yet to receive a report detailing results of the primaries.
Chakwera said, despite facing hitches in some areas, the party has registered progress in areas it is holding primaries.
“There is a common understanding reached prior to primaries since we opened up to all parties involved. Because of that, we expect to have fewer cases of misunderstandings and violence although you cannot rule that out,” he said
Chakwera said the party has postponed elections in three constituencies—Dowa Ngala, Lilongwe Msinja South and Dedza West —as they want to clear misunderstandings.
MCP is holding primary elections in the Central Region, where Malawi Electoral Commission’s voter registration exercise was completed.