Malawi Congress Party (MCP) has been forced to conduct primary elections in Lilongwe South West Constituency after one aspirant obtained an injunction stopping Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) and the party from nominating the incumbent Jean Sendeza.
The High Court in Lilongwe on Monday granted an injunction to Sezi Kawole who is one of two MCP aspirants wishing to represent MCP in the May 20 elections as a councillor and immediately served it on MEC officials at the regional office in Lilongwe.
“I obtained the injunction to demand that primaries take place in this constituency. All others held their primaries but we were surprised when there was no word on Lilongwe South West. I stopped the process because the party was imposing a certain candidate,” Kawole said in an interview on Tuesday.
There was drama at MEC offices in Lilongwe when Kawole and Sendeza’s group both arrived at 7.30am for different purposes only to be sent back to come at 9am but when the incumbent MP arrived at the appointed time, she was told there was an injunction stopping the process.
Sendeza has represented the constituency since 1999 and she is the party’s director of political affairs.
The action prompted the party’s National Executive Committee to set Wednesday for primaries to be held at Nasala Primary School near Traditional Authority Malili’s headquarters.
MCP has about eight people aspiring to represent the party on the parliamentary ticket, four of whom are women and two for councillorship who include one woman.
MCP director of elections Henry Kamata confirmed the date for primaries, but denied that there was a deliberate ploy to impose Sendeza.
“We have been conducting primaries in phases, and it’s not only there [Lilongwe South West]. Some primary elections were conducted on Tuesday, some today [Wednesday] and then this one tomorrow [Thursday],” he said.