Battle lines have been drawn in Mzimba Southwest and Mzimba Central constituencies with presentation of nomination papers on Friday.
But the presentation of the nomination papers was not short of controversy. Democratic progressive Party (DPP), which held primaries and elected Owen Mkandawire to represent it in Mzimba Central, is missing on the final list of aspirants who presented their nomination papers.
DPP regional governor Christopher Ngwira told Nation on Sunday in an interview on Friday that they had filed nomination papers for both seats claims Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) dismissed.
“The names on the list are for those people who presented their nomination papers within the prescribed time for presenting nomination papers and that is from 8 AM to 4 PM,” said MECâ€™s Director of Media and Public Relations Sangwani Mwafulirwa in an interview.
Nation on Sunday has established that Mkandawire filed his papers after 4 PM although he was the first to arrive following misunderstandings with constituency returning officer over his voter registration certificate.
Another independent aspirant Kandondo Mvula presented his nomination papers after 4 PM and blamed his late-coming on scarcity of fuel in Mzuzu.
According to information from Malawi Electoral Commission made available to Nation on Sunday a total of eight contestants are competing in the by elections slated for October 9.
In Mzimba Central, which fell vacant following Professor Donton Mkandawireâ€™s death, Peopleâ€™s Party (PP) is fielding Allarm Mâ€™dala Beza. Other contestants are Ennita Wezzie Njolwa (Aford), Bonifasio Ngulube (National Rainbow Coalition) and Joseph Mabvuto Kachali (Independent).
In the Mzimba South-west constituency where elections are taking place following the appointment of Khumbo Kachali as the countryâ€™s Vice President, the contestants are: Raymond Nkhata (PP), Lonard Chavula (DPP), Baxter Mamzunda (Independent) and James Nthara (Independent).
One aspirant Maggie Chipeta, who wanted to stand on United Democratic Party ticket, was also disqualified for failing to submit all documents as required by the law.
According to MECâ€™s by-elections calendar official campaign will start at 6 AM on September 6 and close on October 7 at 6 AM. Voting will be done on October 9 from 6 AM.Â