Peoples Party losing candidate defies party, to stand as independent
Despite calls by the vice president Khumbo Kachali and other Peoples Party (PP) National executive members that aspirants who lost during party’s primary elections should not stand as independent candidates, one of the contestants Joseph Mavuto Kachali has vowed to continue campaigning as independent until he wins the by-elections slated for October 9.
Speaking in a Telephone interview on Friday, Mavuto said traditional leaders and his supporters in the area encouraged him to stand as an independent because they were not convinced with the way he lost in the primaries.
“Everyone is aware that PP primaries were rigged in favor of Aram Beza. Since I spent a lot of money in readiness for the primary elections, and after losing to Beza I decided continue spending until I win the October 9 elections,” he said
He also said after the Mbalachanda mass rally addressed by the vice president on Wednesday, his sympathizers including traditional leaders such as Inkosana Agripa Jere, Chikoma Bota,Chiliuli Kachali and Lipenga Zimba went to his house on Thursday to brief him on what transpired at the rally.
“All traditional leaders in the area and my supporters have assured me of their support as I continue campaigning for the by-elections,” he explained.
However, PP candidate Aram Beza quashed the allegations that the primaries conducted in the area were rigged to his favor.
“I do not agree that the primaries were rigged. I understand Mavuto Kachali was the one who wanted to rig the elections because he even brought someone all the way from Lilongwe to the constituency to participate,” said Beza.
Commenting on the support of traditional leaders Kachali claims to have in the constituency, Beza said it was possible that Mavuto Kachali is just enjoying a few support from traditional leaders in the constituency because most of them were supporting PP and are even encouraging their subjects to vote for PP candidate on the polling day.
In his remarks at the Mbalachanda mass rally soon after the primaries, the Vice President told Mavuto Kachali not to stand as independent candidate for fear of splitting votes. The Vice President said he asked Mavuto Kachali to support Beza for him to win the by-election.
There are six candidates contesting in the by-elections in Mzimba central constituency where Aram Beza is standing for PP, Bonafancio Ngulube is for NARC, Joseph Mavuto Kachali is independent, Enita Wezzie Njolwa AFORD, Dennis Mvula independent and Owen Mkandawire representing is DPP.
Meanwhile, the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has organised a series of civic and voter education meetings starting on September 23 to 26 to teach people on how to mark correctly on ballot papers in order to minimize null and void votes.