Village head Lughali of Karonga has asked Member of Parliament (MP) for Karonga Central, Cornelius Mwalwanda and his predecessor Frank Mwenifumbo to settle their differences for the sake of peace in the area. The chief made the call during a conflict management meeting held in his area on Thursday.
The two politicians are competing for the area’s candidature on a People’s Party (PP) ticket. Lughali said it is sad that the political rivalry between the two politicians who belong to the same party is also affecting relationships among locals. “My worry is that the feud between the two has affected people in this area a lot. Enmity has been created and yet the main players do not live to suffer any hostility at all. “Marriages have been broken and some people [are estranged] from their relatives since this rivalry started, so as a leader, it makes me sad because this is not what we dreamed of when we voted for multiparty democracy in 1993,” he said. Agreeing with Lughali was Reverend Humphrey Msowoya of African Church serving in the area. He said that disagreements within PP in Karonga Central are giving local leaders sleepless nights, including the church. Msowoya said some members of the two factions fail to come under one roof and worship as they cannot see eye to eye.
“It is an open secret that supporters of Mwalwanda and Mwenifumbo do not eat from the same plate. As such, people have changed churches just to associate with others with whom they share political beliefs. So, as you can see, the disagreements have left no sector unaffected in our area,” said Msowoya. The community has since formed task forces to find ways of ending the unhealthy rivalry. Karonga Central Constituency has recently made headlines for wrangles within PP, especially those involving party members supporting former parliamentarian Mwenifumbo and the current legislator Mwalwanda, who is also Deputy Finance Minister. The party, however, recently declared Mwenifumbo—who is its deputy secretary general and acting provincial governor for the North—as its torch bearer in the 2014 elections.