By Durell Namasani
As the drama for Dedza East primary elections continues , one of the leading candidates Patrick Bandawe has challenged the statement made by the party earlier declaring Juliana Lunguzi the winner of the primaries. Bandawe who was first reported to be the winner was disqualified by the partys executive after hearing of malpractices during the time of the elections.
But in his statement made available to 247 Media Bandawe said he wishes to express dismay at the decision by the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) to go against the decision by the party faithful in Dedza East constituency who chose him to represent them in next year’s Parliamentary Elections.
“For a start, the Presiding Officer, Mr Peter Chalera, who was delegated by the party, declared me winner by 821 votes against the incumbent MP, Hon. Juliana Lunguzi’s 815.
Five candidates, namely Hon. Lunguzi, Mussa Mbwana, Davie Kupempha, Steven Bizwick and I, were competing in the primary elections. There were 1,917 delegates who voted out of 1,950 delegates.
The elections were deemed free and fair and there were no upheavals after the count to suggest the vote had either been rigged or tampered with” reads part of the statement.
Bandawe also went on to accuse Juliana Lunguzi of bringing ineligible delegates to the elections
“On the day of the elections, Hon. Lunguzi ferried delegates to the venue in five trucks. As a result, there was some dispute on the composition of the delegates, especially those who came on the trucks.But in the spirit of democracy, we agreed to proceed with the election despite this glaring irregularity. In the end, MCP supporters in Dedza East elected me as their candidate for next year’s elections, a fact that was confirmed by the Presiding Officer, who went to great lengths to ensure that every vote was counted”.
Bandawe challenged the statement issued by party spokesman Maurice Munthali earlier. He is so far
Asking the party to clarify why they rejected the results by a Presiding Officer who it sent all the way from Lilongwe to conduct the elections. He wants to know Why has the party made the decision based on only one side of the story? While they have listened to Hon. Lunguzi’s version of events only .
Bandawe claims that he feels If the party felt there were irregularities during the polls, the option was to declare the elections null and void and order a re-run. He has given the party 24 hours to reply or else he will seek legal redress.