Malawi Congress Party (MCP), the second biggest political party by representation in Parliament, has started conducting district elections in an apparent last ditch effort to salvage disintegration and rebuild the party ahead of the 2019 General Elections.
The district elections have come a few days after the High Court in Lilongwe dismissed a case in which some MCP district chairpersons demanded an ad hoc convention to fill vacant positions.
High Court Judge Charles Mkandawire dismissed the case because lawyers for the disgruntled district chairpersons did not show up in time in court.
The district chairpersons, alongside a longtime serving member of the party, Chatinkha Chidzanja-Nkhoma, argued that the lasting solution to the squabbles is for the party to call an early convention.
Briefing journalists at the party’s headquarters in Lilongwe yesterday, MCP director of public relations Lingson Belekanyama said, after the court had dismissed the case, the party started conducting the elections in all its political districts.
He said: “Elections have been held successfully in a number of districts in the Central Region. And one of the winners in those elections is Ms Mary Manjamkhosi who is with us.”
Belekanyama said the most ironic thing is that those who pushed for the elections at district level failed to retain their positions.
Private practice lawyer Wesley Namasala, who is representing the disgruntled chairpersons, did not pick his phone when The Nation wanted to get the reaction of his clients after indications that they would apply to restore the case.
But MCP director of elections Maxwell Thyolera said in a separate interview that the electoral process has generally been peaceful in all areas where elections have taken place.
He said the party has not recorded any case of discontentment and dissatisfaction in areas where elections have been held.
In a related development, MCP president Lazarus Chakwera has said his leadership is not resisting elections, but that procedures need to be followed to ensure democratic values and principles are upheld. n