The People’s Party (PP) will summon spokesperson Hophmally Makande to a disciplinary hearing after he filed nomination papers on Friday to contest as an independent candidate for Mangochi Monkey Bay Constituency.
Makande’s decision runs counter to a commitment he made after losing primary elections in January that he would remain loyal to the party’s principle of not going independent after losing primaries.
He lost to Minister of Economic Planning and Development Ralph Jooma.
Makande joins other PP officials and MPs who have gone independent after being dissatisfied with the conduct and outcome of the primaries.
When Nation on Sunday caught up with him yesterday, he refused to comment on the issue.
But district commissioner for Mangochi Bester Mandele confirmed that Makande presented his nomination papers on Friday as an independent candidate.
“He is indeed contesting as an independent candidate,” said Mandele.
PP acting secretary general Paul Maulidi said Makande did not inform the party that he would contest as an independent MP. Maulidi said the party will summon him for a hearing.
“Normally, once a member of the party contests as an independent, it means he is no longer part of the party, and no party member is an exception to this rule.
“However, since Makande and [Frank] Mwenefumbo are holding senior positions in the party, we will summon them for a hearing,” he said.
PP deputy secretary general Mwenefumbo, who is an aspirant for Karonga Central Constituency, also submitted nomination papers as an independent candidate after the party declared Deputy Minister of Finance Dr Cornelius Mwalwanda winner of primary elections.
On Friday, Makande arrived at Mangochi district council compound at about 3.30pm in a Toyota Avensis registration number NB 3385 with three aides.
It took about 20 minutes for him to emerge from the vehicle. When he finally did, he was surrounded by the personal assistants and walked furtively towards the venue of the nominations, suggesting that he did not want to be spotted by others at the nomination centre.
When journalists tried to interview Makande, he shrugged them off through his aides.
After presenting the nomination papers, he tried to evade the prying eyes of journalists who wanted to photograph him.
His personal assistants prevented reporters from interviewing him and taking his pictures.
Makande walked briskly towards his vehicle and sped away.