The High Court in Mzuzu on Thursday upheld a decision by the Malawi Electoral Commission to reject the nomination of People’s Party candidate for Chibanja Ward, Blackson Kalwena Gondwe because he obtained registration fraudulently.
The court also refused to allow the party to field another candidate, meaning that PP will not have a candidate in the Local Government by-elections slated for August 25, 2015.
Following MEC’s rejection of his nomination papers on August 3 on the basis that the candidate obtained registration fraudulently, Gondwe protested his disqualification in court.
In a statement, MEC’s Chief Elections Officer Willie Kalonga said the High Court in Mzuzu upheld the rejection on Thursday.
“In his ruling Judge Dingiswayo Madise has ordered Mr. Gondwe to forfeit the fake voter certificate and the Malawi Electoral Commission to destroy it. The judge has also refused to allow nomination by substitution,” said Kalonga.
Meanwhile, PP Spokesperson, Ken Msonda has described the party’s failure to field a candidate in the Ward as unfortunate, saying ‘Mzuzu is a PP stronghold’.
“PP is a party that upholds democratic values and principles as enshrined in our Republican Constitution. We have trust in our Judicial system and respect pronouncements and decisions made by the courts. It is very unfortunate that we are not contesting in Chibanja Ward, as Mzuzu is PP stronghold,” said Msonda in an interview Friday.
Six candidates were approved to compete for Chibanja ward. They are Gibson Chisale of the Alliance for Democracy-Aford, Malawi Forum for Unity and Development-Mafunde’s Ulaya Kaunda, George Manda of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party-Dpp, Charles Mlogera of Malawi Congress Party-Mcp, Esmey Zinthambo Jere of Umodzi Party and independent candidate Mike Phiri.
Apart from Chibanja Ward in Mzuzu, the by-elections will also be held in Luchenza Ward, Zomba City Central, Msikisi Ward in Mangochi, and Khwawa Ward in Karonga.